Inc.: In California’s Kevin McCarthy, A Small Business Advocate Rises to GOP’s Top

Kevin-McCarthy_37943With the election of Kevin McCarthy, BusinessUS and other California small businesses find ourselves in an interesting political position: both the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader of the House, and the SBA Administrator, are from our home state.

Read more about Kevin McCarthy and small business here

“In McCarthy, Republicans have found a moderate voice with strong business ties, and the ability to understand the concerns of smaller businesses. They have also found someone who may be able to unify the fractious voices that have prevented the Republican caucus from taking meaningful action on legislation like immigration reform.”

Nancy Pelosi: “After raising $1.8 million for Democrats through her leadership PAC in 2002, Pelosi got the top job when Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. She was the first woman to ever lead a party in Congress. In 2006, she teamed up with Schumer, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel and hatched a plan to take back Congress. …and it totally worked! Democrats won the majority in both chambers, and Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House. In the first 100 hours of being Speaker in 2006, Pelosi raised the minimum wage, enacted the 9/11 commission report, ended many tax subsidies to oil companies, and made new rules about lobbying.”

Read more about Pelosi’s successes here 

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet has a wide range of experience having been a business owner, founder of a Latino-owned community bank and a former California cabinet secretary. She’s also been an advocate for Hispanics.

“She knows business and she knows the economics and the business of raising capital, and the importance of building a solid small business community,” says Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, president of Los Angeles-based Berkhemer-Clayton, an executive search firm. She has known Contreras-Sweet for about 25 years and worked with her at nonprofit groups including the March of Dimes.

Contreras-Sweet, 58, first became a business owner in 1980, as a partner in the 7UP/RC Bottling of Southern California. She also served on the board of directors of the health insurer Blue Cross of California. In 1999, she became secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and was the first Hispanic woman in the state Cabinet. She held that post until 2003.

Here’s a good summary of the SBA Administrator’s California career

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

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