February 26, 2020

By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, C-Suite Wednesday

C-Suite Wednesday — A Discussion with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza: Current Issues and the FY2021 Budget

This morning, the newly confirmed head of the Small Business Administration, Jovita Carranza, testified before the full House Small Business Committee at 11:30 A.M. Eastern. The hearing was titled “A Discussion with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza: Current Issues and the FY 2021 Budget,” and focused on Carranza’s priorities for the SBA and the Administration’s proposed budget decrease for SBA funding in FY 2021.

In opening statements, Committee Chairwoman, Nydia M. Velázquez, voiced her concerns with the 2021 proposed budget. “The Administration proposed to slash entrepreneurial development by a staggering $243 million, or 25%,” says Velázquez. “Helping small businesses succeed and educating the underserved and rural areas will require a reinvestment in SBA counseling and training programs, not cutbacks.”

“One of the first things I did was to take the budget and meet with the CFO as well as all of the key stakeholders in the SBA program offices,” Carranza told Velázquez. “I went line by line to identify what was requested in 2020 and what was enacted and what was requested this time. In particular, the office of entrepreneurial development was a major concern because it’s one that realized a cut from 2020 requests to the request in 2021. To face it head-on, I attended their SBDC Summit to demonstrate to them that we were very serious about providing the support that they greatly need and that I am closely reviewing the budget and how we can explore opportunities for them to be just as effective with $87 million.”

In addition to reassuring Chairwoman Velázquez and the committee hearing’s other attendees that she is evaluating more cost-effective resources for small businesses, Carranza listed the other priorities that she plans to address as SBA Administrator. Carranza’s top priorities at this time are to continue the success of the SBA disaster assistance program; maximize lending, federal contracting opportunities, and outreach for small businesses in underserved communities; and optimize agency program operations.

A recording of the House Small Business Committee Hearing can be viewed on the Committee’s Official YouTube channel.