ASTA congratulated Karen Gordon Mills for her Senate confirmation as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and urged direct SBA lending to small businesses on an expedited basis.
"Travel agents and other small business owners are looking for creative, bold leadership in these difficult times," said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. "We look forward to working with Karen Gordon Mills on the shared goal of helping small businesses to navigate the challenges of a sustained economic downturn."
The Senate confirmed Mills by unanimous consent on April 3, two days after her confirmation hearing before the Senate Small Business Committee.
Both the economic stimulus package, which was signed into law in February, and President Obama's Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal contain measures intended to boost small business lending, including reductions in loan fees, a new refinancing program, and technical changes permitting greater flexibility in secondary loan sales.
Russo also reiterated his call for a new program to allow the SBA to lend directly to small businesses on an expedited basis. A provision to create such a program was included in the House-passed version of the stimulus package, only to be stripped out shortly before final passage.