President Obama vowed in his State of the Union address to make assisting domestic manufacturers a top priority for his second term.
We are very much engaged across the government, very much engaged in streamlining and simplifying our activities with borrowers and lenders, because that saves time and saves costs and we believe we can do that while maintaining the same or increased levels of oversight and risk management.
It's not government that creates jobs; it's small business. Our job is to make sure they have the access to capital, the access to contracting opportunities, and the help, advice and mentoring that they need to go out and be successful.
Among our responsibilities is to make sure that 23 percent of all government contracts go to small businesses. That's about $150 billion annually, from all the government agencies.
This has always been a small agency with a big mission. But these days, especially, we have to stand up every day, deliver value into the hands of small-business owners and get taxpayers the biggest bang for their buck so that we can help these job creators do what they need to do.
Our economy creates and loses jobs every quarter in the millions. But of the net new jobs, the jobs come from small businesses: both small businesses on Main Street and many of the net new jobs come from high growth, high impact businesses that are located all across the country.
We are not going to be the agency where large businesses can masquerade as a small business and get a contract. We are closing down on fraud, waste and abuse.
We really accomplished what we set out to do with the Recovery Act programs, which was to fill the lending gap created by the crisis.
The 2009 stimulus law got the ball rolling, allowing the agency to reduce and eliminate fees and raise loan guarantees to 90 percent of the total. I knew that we had the opportunity to use S.B.A. products to fill that gap in a rapid manner, as we ended up doing in the Recovery Act.
We were able in the Recovery Act to get a program where we increased our loan guarantees to 90 percent. Because we had that program, a bank wouldn't have to take that much risk.
Small businesses want things streamlined, and one of the great successes we're having is less paperwork, faster turnaround times.
Health care is the No. 1 concern of small businesses and the status quo is untenable.