Charles S. Clark | June 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

SBA Chief Promises Women Contractors Greater Efficiency

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said the agency acts as "counselor and mentor for networking and helping you all the way, answering your questions." SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said the agency acts as "counselor and mentor for networking and helping you all the way, answering your questions." Carolyn Kaster/AP

Like all of President Trump’s agency heads, Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon is reviewing SBA programs with the goal of making them more “effective and efficient.”

“We have to change, and if not, … those programs have to go,” the administrator told a Thursday “Summit for Success” sponsored by American Express Open.

“SBA is working to streamline the process for getting certified for doing business with the government,” McMahon told the gathering of contractors and agency specialists in set-asides for women, veterans and minorities. “We’re consolidating the contract process and improving certification to make it more user-friendly and effective,” she said, citing application forms that are complex. “We’re creating more online tools to increase the likelihood of finding contracts that match your capabilities.”

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But McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, also co-founded—before joining the Trump administration—a startup called Women’s Leadership LIVE that provides mentoring services for females in business.

So she commended her agency for helping other agencies meet their small-business contracting goals for women and minorities who have “to compete against the big guys, which can be tough.”

She added: “When people think of the SBA, they automatically think loans. But SBA is much more than that. It is a counselor and mentor for networking and helping you all the way, answering your questions--all totally free.”

She described her recent visit to Texas to name QMF Steel, a $6.5 million manufacturer of workplace protective equipment used by federal prisons, as the 2017 National Prime Contractor of the Year. That company “credits its work with the federal government for its success,” she said.

The audience of primarily female contractors heard inspirational lessons in becoming an entrepreneur from Leah Busque, the founder and executive chairman of the global online errand-running broker Task Rabbit.

SBA officials also on the program were Kenneth Dodds, SBA’s director of planning and liaison; John Lira of SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development; Linda Reilly of SBA’s Office of Capital Management; and Robb Wong, associate administrator of the agency’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development.

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