The Next Four Years at the SBA

Cutting taxes, reducing regulation, encouraging low-cost health insurance, and discouraging frivolous suits -- those goals top SBA chief Hector Barreto's to-do list

A former entrepreneur, Hector Barreto was named head of the Small Business Administration by President Bush in 2001. Under his watch, the 7(a) loan program has gained in popularity, with a record number of loans awarded over the past year, but also faced a funding dry spell forcing its temporary shutdown in January. The SBA's budget also has dropped nearly 25% since Bush took office, though Barreto says his agency has all the resources it needs to continue helping small businesses. Following the President's reelection, BusinessWeek Online reporter Erin Chambers and SmallBiz Editor Rod Kurtz spoke with Barreto to hear his outlook on the next four years. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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