Contreras-Sweet to lead SBA

March 28, 2014 – Maria Contreras-Sweet, the president’s nominee to head the Small Business Administration, was approved by a Senate voice vote on Thursday.

President Barack Obama nominated Contreras-Sweet for the position in January to replace former Administrator Karen Mills. Contraras-Sweet has previously served as the secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and a director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. She was also appointed by the Senate to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission.

Contreras-Sweet also founded ProAmérica Bank, a Latino-owned community bank, in 2006, and served on the board of the California Blue Cross.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger responded to the news, saying, “We congratulate Contreras-Sweet on her confirmation and look forward to working with her,” Berger said. “SBA is an important partner as it works to help facilitate, promote and encourage credit unions’ participation in its loan programs.”

Credit unions can work with the SBA to maximize their small-business lending. Credit unions’ member business lending authority is capped by statute to 12.25 percent of assets. Every loan dollar a credit union issues that is backed by the SBA is excluded from that cap.