New Administrator for the SBA

I was happy to learn that Karen Gordon Mills is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to head the Small Business Administration. I talked to Mills in September when I was working on a story about why it’s so difficult for small businesses to act as a cohesive political bloc. She impressed me with her depth of knowledge about entrepreneurs and the role of some start-ups in job creation.

During one of our conversations, she had this to say:

“It is very important that we have a more granular understanding, particularly at the federal policy level, about the voice of small business. It is not a one-size-fits-all category. There are differences in small businesses. A restaurant needs capital, too, but a different kind, and it needs a different approach from the Small Business Administration. The SBA needs to be evolved enough to recognize that a lot of business will come from high-growth small businesses and, once again, we can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Here’s a link to my story, which appeared in BusinessWeek Small Biz in October. A podcast with Mills, in which we discussed some of these issues, is embedded in the story.

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