Healing Power

Behind Closed Doors . . .

Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, on the Senate floor, regarding the Women's Business Centers Act of 1997:

"Mr. President, I want to once again go on record that I am dissatisfied that the SBA has not given appropriate attention to the women's business program. It has failed to provide sufficient professional personnel to the Office of Women's Business Ownership in order to carry out its important tasks. It has repeatedly requested less funding than authorized for the program despite the fact that this is one of the most successful of all SBA programs. To my knowledge, it has never come to Congress and requested additional monies for the program; instead, it has expected Congress to do SBA's work in trumpeting the successes of this small but vital program. I find it most discouraging that while we in Congress are well aware of the outstanding work of the women's business centers, there appears to be minimal support within SBA for expanding the work of this very small program. This is a loss to the agency, and it is most assuredly a loss to countless thousands of women entrepreneurs, let alone a loss to our overall national economy."

Response by Aida Alvarez, SBA Administrator:

"In my six months as Administrator, I have devoted major efforts to strengthening SBA's already strong commitment to women's business ownership. It is noteworthy that Betsy Myers, director of President Clinton's Office of Women's Initiatives and Outreach, has joined my SBA team as a senior advisor. While I am Administrator, SBA will take a back seat to no government agency when it comes to promoting women's economic empowerment."

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This article was originally published in the October 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Healing Power.

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