There was no April fooling when the Senate confirmed venture capitalist Karen Mills to take over as the Obama administration's chief administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association last week.
"Small business is the heart of the American economy," the 55-year-old states. "There are over twenty-six million small businesses in this country and they create 70 percent of the new jobs. This means that to find our way out of the current economic crisis, we have to find ways to help small businesses stay in operation and even expand."Mills was enthusiastically endorsed by Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee ranking Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), who spearheaded a campaign to appoint Mills before Obama took office.
"The Senate's quick and unanimous approval of Karen Mills as the next administrator of the SBA is a testament to her tremendous qualifications and outstanding record in assisting small business," Snowe says. "She is truly ready to assume the reins of the agency responsible for small businesses, America's preeminent job generators that will lead us out of our economic morass."
Not so fast, argues the American Small Business League, which has opposed Mills, painting her as leader who tows the line of the Bush administration's pro-corporate business policies. The league argues that the federal government under Bush has given billions worth of federal contracts intended for small business to large corporations.
"I predict Mills is not going to do anything to stop the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses and in fact, you can bet that Mills is going to support policies to divert even more federal small business contracts to some of President Obama's wealthiest contributors in the venture capital industry," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman states.