One of the most important transition teams in a new presidential administration is that of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since we started the National Black Chamber of Commerce in 1993, we have been observant when the SBA goes through the transition of new management.
The Clinton administration was quite exciting. They gave us a role in providing input, résumés, referrals and opinions on our view of new and old managers. Do they stay or do they go?
We made referrals that put persons in regional director positions. Also, we caused a deputy administrator to step down and forced transfers of some district directors.
Lost his job
For example, there was a Dallas district director who was obviously biased, as he had no problem in stating the word “nigger” in his conversations. We nicknamed him the “Mark Furman of the federal administration” in written Congressional testimony.
During my testimony, the chair of the House Small Business Committee declared that such an individual could no longer work for our federal government. The SBA’s deputy administrator came forward and notified us that they received his resignation that morning.
We have “juice” and know how to use it!
The first two Clinton administrations were very active and exciting. Both Republicans and Democrats were eager to
show that they were the most concerned about minority business development. When that happens, progress is made.
The two George W. Bush administrations were equally exciting, as the White House knew what business was all about.
There was much improvement in minority and Black contracting numbers as well as minority SBA lending. All numbers were going up.
The Obama administrations brought in a new era. Their personnel were not too business-savvy nor had any appreciation of what minority business –particularly Black business was all about and the importance of its success.
The non-entrepreneurial characters were like a Shakespearian tragedy. The numbers in minority and Black lending and contracting shrunk noticeably. Black employment was heading to “life support” as a result. They were hostile to the NBCC. When they decide to “dis” the largest Black business association in the world, their success will become doubtful and it did.
Another phenomenon was that the Congressional Black Caucus which was molded by people of the ilk of Parren J. Mitchell, Adam Clayton Powell, etc. were now forced to support the “Black” president no matter how bad he was. Their influence on Black business was neutered for political correctness. Thank God, that horror story has now ended.
Good things coming
Now it is “Trump Time” and Black employment is rising to heights we have not seen in decades. Black home ownership is rising to all time highs. The newly passed Tax Reform is a giant tide lifting all boats.” Something is happening and we all must confess it must be good.
It was just announced that of the 10 SBA regional offices, six directors have now been hired. Once this is completed, the true personality of this administration will show its impact on business development.
The regional administrator position is a straight-out political appointment. The success or failure of these individuals will directly impact on the small business development status of the Trump administration.
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon states, “I am very pleased that we now have six new regional administrators in place that can help support me and the president in serving as a voice and go-to resource for our nation’s 30 million small businesses. I will rely on them heavily as we move forward in 2018 and beyond and look forward to working closely with each one of them.”
Region 1: Wendell G. Davis will control the operations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. His background is business law. Seasoned Senator Susan Collins once held this position before she ran for Congress.
Region 2: Steve Bulger will oversee SBA programs, offices and operations in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For the past six years, he oversaw all Congressional district operations across 15 counties in Eastern New York.
Region 5: Robert Scott will oversee SBA programs, offices and operations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Scott has a law degree and has practiced within the state of Ohio.
Region 7: Administrator Thomas J. Salisbury will oversee SBA programs, offices and operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Salisbury previously served the last six years under the leadership of Missouri Senator Roy Blunt.
Region 8: Administrator Daniel P. Nordberg will oversee SBA programs, offices and operations in Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Mr. Nordberg is a three-time general assembly representative for the state of Colorado. He specialized in small business matters.
Region 10: M. Jeremy Field will oversee SBA programs, offices and operations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. For the last eight years, Field has worked as regional director and state grant coordinator under Idaho Senator James Risch.
We will inform you about Regions 3, 4, 6 and 9 when they become filled. I will get on the road and personally meet these directors and develop positive relationships with them, just like we used to do.
Harry C. Alford is the co-founder and president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Contact him via www.nationalbcc.org.