President Obama Chooses Founder of Latino-Owned Bank to Head SBA

U.S. president calls Maria Contreras-Sweet a "champion of women-owned and family-owned businesses."
3:00 | 01/15/14

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Transcript for President Obama Chooses Founder of Latino-Owned Bank to Head SBA
Thank. You everybody thank you thank. You. Welcome the White House and I am pleased to be joined but. Many of the people on the front lines -- concert creating jobs and new opportunities. America's small business owners. And I want to thank. All of for the hard work and the sacrifice of these -- -- As laws the workers and the families. Across the country that. Have helped us pull ourselves out of one of the worst recessions in our history. Now what we're seeing is businesses having created more than eight million new jobs since we hit bottom manufacturing is growing. Led by a booming auto industry. Our investments have helped bring about new technologies. More -- energy and are slowing health care costs all of which are making America even more attractive. For investors and we're sorry to see a lot of the jobs that. At left our shores. In manufacturing for example start to come back because we put ourselves -- -- much more competitive position. And so all pieces are there to bring back even more new jobs. To America this year but. It's not happen by itself this has to be your -- we've got to keep our economy growing we got to make sure that. Or working families are sharing in. Growth and increasing success we've got to make sure there were creating more good jobs that pay good wages. And provide families with. Some measure of security -- -- make sure that the recovery does leave anybody behind and that's where our small businesses can help lead the way. -- because small businesses. Are the lifeblood. Of our economy. They create most of the country's new jobs -- -- cornerstones of our communities. And the part of the pact. -- America -- the idea that if you work hard. If you take responsibility -- you -- build something new you can make something of yourself. You can leave something behind for your children. And that's a -- the brought generations of hard working immigrants -- shores. And that's the idea that -- small business owners to create new products and expand their businesses. Every single -- And that's one of the reasons why -- it's small it's a priority from day one when I took this office. It's why we cut taxes for small business owners not once but twice. Not not once or twice but eighteen times in my first term. Small business owners had a real tough time in the financial crisis. When lending froze. They were the ones were getting hit the hardest so my administration supported record amounts of lending to small businesses through the SBA. More than a 130 billion dollars to more than 245000. Small businesses during the course of five years. We made it easier for small businesses to compete for and when federal contracts by eliminating. And -- -- paperwork and cutting red tape and accelerating. Payments to small business contractors through the corporate. Quick pay program. So that they can maintain a cash flow that they need to grow their businesses create more jobs so in my first term. Nearly 380. Billion dollars in federal contracts. Went to small business it's almost fifty billion dollars more than in the four years before I took office. So I deeply believe in small businesses that. Can't help to drive. And continue. The -- that -- party -- And I elevated the role of the small business administrator to cabinet level. To give small businesses exceeded the table when we're talking about our economic agenda. A search for an exceptional person to serve as the next leader of the SBA. I want somebody with a proven track record of helping small businesses succeed. Somebody who -- first hand experience. Both in the private sector and the public sector. Who -- work with us and work with me to increase growth and expand opportunity. I want somebody who understands -- -- -- And it would be even better -- that somebody had actually start the business of -- And that's why I'm so proud to nominate Maria contreras sweet to be the next administrator of the Small Business Administration. Maria knows how hard it is to get. Started auto business the grueling hours the stress. Occasional self doubt although I've had not yet seen self doubt -- -- Maria. She knows herself she's the founder of pro America back the first Latino owned business bank in California. In over thirty years. Its focus is small and medium size businesses in popular neighborhoods so not only did -- start small businesses but. Those have also been her customers. And she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means. A lack of opportunity. As secretary of the California business transportation and housing agency Maria was the driving force behind -- operation. Major public investments. In infrastructure and housing. As a consultant she helped companies expanded to -- you know market. She's champion of women owned and family owned businesses. -- when she served her bank she said she -- The bank to be a place where families would come for help because -- family business -- thrive. And I'm quoting the community -- in the economy cars and as someone who moved to California from Mexico is a young girl. And his mother worked long hours to support Maria and her five siblings she knows firsthand the challenges the working families. In recent immigrants -- face. So she understands the needs of small business owners like herself. She knows how they can lift the entire communities. And ultimately -- -- -- our country. So as we work to keep our economy growing Maria will be charged with looking for more ways. To sport small businesses to help them get that good idea off the ground. To expand. To higher. To solar products and ideas not only in our domestic markets but also overseas. I'm absolutely confident but you gonna. Do an outstanding job as our small business administrator so what banker for accepting this position and the challenge and I know which is going to be up. And I want -- banker husband -- And three outstanding children. Because jobs like mr. out to be family affairs. And and I know that -- very supportive. Is going to be that report with -- in this task. Now Maria follows in the footsteps of two extraordinary leaders Karen mills who served as administrator. Of the SBA's in my first term. And jingle. Who has graciously agreed to serve as acting administrator after -- stepped down last year. Together they made it. Easier and faster front -- to get loans -- contracts to hire more people and the results are thriving small businesses across the country. Some of those entrepreneurs are here today. Twenty years ago DeVon and carry waksal -- historic -- Boeing company that they sold their house to help pay for. And with a little help from the SBA -- -- -- appliance factory set up there equipment. They got to work. Today the new Coors Brewing Co. -- top craft beer makers in Wisconsin would more than eighty full time employees so. -- -- -- -- -- Didn't -- It's. There's -- success story here the team behind Taylor -- -- old shop. Locations all over DC including one just half a block from the White House. If you're wondering why -- know about this the staff. Are steady customers asked Taylor -- -- and I have taste of those tasty sandwiches. There when Casey Patton and Dave -- moved to DC they looked everywhere for Hokies -- -- grown up with in -- And when they couldn't find -- we should make them ourselves. And with the help BS -- -- from it shops in DC. Maryland and Virginia. And so not only that running Ritz camera but are also creating jobs here -- here. That's. The power small distance. That's the charge of the SBA. That's extraordinary work has done. And for -- -- to help advance the agenda people who just have agreement. -- -- on the put in all the blood sweat and tears that they do in order to achieve victory. And so we think about our small businesses just remember that's what keeps our communities our country strong. And we should be doing everything in our power to help them succeed. If your America -- won't work partnering -- He should had a shot at success. -- understood that in fact she's going to be going back into the private sector helping small businesses back in Maine. I told her she might want to stay here. Until. Oh winners over but she's she's eager to get back and -- -- state longer than she originally intended. And another -- -- Maria understands. Maria on the way and told me a wonderful story about. -- grandmother back in Mexico. Who was migrant worker. Sector -- that. You know if she worked hard studied state school someday she'd be able -- and office. As secretary of you know really. Make -- proud and she ended up in the sector helped teams there business development. And transportation in California and now she's going to be helping. The folks were falling behind her. Achieve their dreams that's what America's all about so Maria is fulfilling -- the -- a program -- in ways that maybe you're not entirely expected. And and I'm confident that she's gonna put her heart and soul and making sure that. All the other people who were out there striving and try to achieve their dreams. Can succeed as well that's what this frustrations about number comport work. Thank you very much -- a big -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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