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SBA Administrator Karen Mills Announces Her Departure

We've transformed our Office of Disaster Assistance. A hallmark of these efforts is our streamlined disaster loan application. During Hurricane Katrina, it took almost 77 days to get a disaster loan turned around. Today, following important reforms, over 50 percent of the Sandy applications are coming in on-line and being turned around within 21 days. I have seen the impact of your work during my recent travels and you should be proud of the role that you are playing, across the Agency, to help those affected rebuild their lives and their businesses.

Together, we've made selling to the federal government easier and more efficient. We've taken a zero tolerance stance on fraud, waste and abuse in federal contracting, created an Administration-wide emphasis on the importance of small business contracting and made it easier for small businesses to apply for federal contracts and to get paid quickly once they win contracts. As a result, in the last three years of reporting, small businesses have accessed more than $286.3 billion dollars in federal contracts. That is $32 billion more than the previous three years, even as overall contract spending decreased during those years.

Working with our resource partner network, we've improved the delivery of our counseling and mentoring services. Today, our SBA "bone structure" includes a national network of Agency field offices, more than 900 Small Business Development Centers, 300 chapters of SCORE and more than 100 Women's Business Centers with over 14,000 members. This network is more integrated and coordinated than at any time in SBA's history. And we are using it to meet entrepreneurs where they are—whether that's on-line, one-on-one or in the classroom.

Because of your hard work, the SBA has established itself as the voice of small business and entrepreneurship both in Washington and across the country. We have a seat at the table because President Obama knows the important role that small businesses play in our economic growth and global competitiveness. And he understands that the SBA has the tools and the team to take America's small businesses to that next level, so that they can drive energy and momentum into the economy. That's why the President elevated my position to his Cabinet, so we can make sure that small businesses and entrepreneurs are a centerpiece of America's growth agenda.

And because of the work you have done the SBA has become the place that small businesses and entrepreneurs turn for trusted and reliable information on legislative issues and changes to the tax code and regulations that will affect their businesses. It is because of your work that we were able to pass the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the most comprehensive piece of small business legislation in over a decade.

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