Obama Elevates Small Business Administration to Cabinet-Level Position

The United States Small Business Administration just got a big promotion.  In a Friday (Jan. 13) press conference, President Barack Obama announced that Karen Mills, thehead of the U.S. Small Business Administration, would be elevated to a cabinet-level position. 

This move by the president is a part of an initiative that will take six government agencies, including the Small Business Administration (SBA), and combine them into a streamlined, single entity.  The other agencies included in this move are the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency, according to the Washington Post.

"Right now, there are six departments and agencies focused primarily on business and trade in the federal government," the president said in an ABC News article. "Six. In this case, six isn't better than one. It’s redundant and inefficient. With the authority I am requesting today, we could consolidate them all into one department with one website, one phone number and one mission – helping American businesses succeed."

The move would restore the agency to a cabinet-level agency as it was under the administration of President Bill Clinton.  Additionally, the cuts are expected to save $3 billion and eliminate 1,000 jobs, according to The Washington Post and other news services. ABC News anticipated that the move would lose 2,000 jobs that would be lost mainly through retirements over the next decade.

According to the ABC News report, the president hoped the move would give him the "authority that every business owner has to make sure that his or her company keeps pace with the times."

"And let me be clear: I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government," said Obama. 

The president hopes that the move will help facilitate further growth of small businesses due to the increased efficiency the cuts would create. An announcement on the business.gov website already pronounced that the SBA website had moved to Business.gov.  According to the website, the new SBA will help "small business owners and entrepreneurs with the targeted resources they need to help them succeed in business."