SBA Critiqued as Nonresponsive and Slow to Answer Questions

us representatives criticize sba

In separate letters, members of Congress wrote to Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Guzman, saying the SBA response to questions from small business owners has been nonresponsive and slow.

Last week, Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) forwarded letters to Guzman. McHenry and Luetmeyer forwarded letters they’d received from constituents who own small businesses or are lenders.

SBA Criticized for Slow Response to Business Owners, Lenders

The general content of the letters was that the SBA was effectively communicating or responding to businesses and lenders in a timely way.

In the letter that accompanied the forwarded letters, McHenry and Luetkemeyer wrote:

“During the pandemic, small businesses across the country turned to the SBA and their programs for relief to keep their doors open and workers employed. Unfortunately, business owners have been met with uncertainty stemming from delayed approvals, lack of communication, and nonexistent transparency.”

“Small businesses and their workers across the country are urgently waiting for answers. They simply do not have the luxury to wait months. Many of these programs are temporary, therefore delayed responses will not suffice. We urge you to take immediate action to review outstanding inquiries from all Members of Congress and increase communication with their offices, small businesses, and the lenders that assist them.”

Formal Letter from 13 Republicans

Also in October, a group of 13 Republicans wrote Guzman to criticize Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

Madrid had appeared before Congress October 6 to testify about the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. He was asked if “either the corporate tax rate or personal income tax rate would help or hurt small businesses.”

Madrid answered that he was “not in a position to answer that.”

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a freelance writer living in Barnesville, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She has worked as a trucking company dock supervisor, newspaper circulation district manager, radio station commercial writer, assistant manager of a veterinary pharmaceutical warehouse and newspaper reporter.

5 Reactions
  1. I love the SBA and I think their role is vital. However, people need to remember they are a government agency and they have all the bureaucracy associated with that. Adjust your expectations as such.

  2. HI Robert Brady
    I agree. The SBA is up to its elbows in paperwork, so much more than usual due to the pandemic response and followup.

    • Why in this age of technology is the Government still buried in “PAPERWORK”. Update your systems and programs. Hire more Seniors to work remotely….that is if it is truly your goal to assist the people.

  3. The premise of government employees promoting, developing, or assisting small business is by itself absurd. Government employees have little to no business experience to begin with, and if they did, they wouldn’t be in the government. The SBA has yet to have anyone with small business experience as an administrator which only reflects their dysfunctional approach to small business. Yes, they are up to their elbows in paperwork but that’s their fault. Paperwork is all they understand, and not well at that. Yes they are a regulatory agency but that is their choice. They could have chosen to be advocates but instead they have chosen the path that suits them, not the customers they serve or more realistically occasionally serve. Few people really know what the initials SBA really mean. It really stands for Stopping Business in America.

  4. I’m a small business here in Grand Rapids MI and I’ve had the same issue when it comes to receiving responses back from the sba. I’ve been trying to transition from a sole proprietorship to a LLC unfortunately during a pandemic and despite my desperate need for guidance and mentorship from the sba I’ve contacted them multiple times to the point I had to go from local to reaching out to a different cities sba because I got zero feedback from my local office. It was only once I reached out to Detroit that I heard back from someone locally. Even then the response I got back was honestly negative and disheartening.

    My desire to expand and level up from a sole proprietorship to a for profit LLC is because I saw that I was able to make a profit from the work I had been doing for several years as an LLC. The opportunity to not only make a profit but get assistance funding my business and potentially making a positive impact in my community was also reason for me going the LLC route.
    On a personal level due to COVID I lost almost everything over the past 2 years. The fact that bidens administration offered resources to help small businesses like mine seemed to give me even more reason to reach out to my local SBA FOR ASSITANCE. YET THE SBAS LACK LUSTER RESPONSE AND EVEN WORSE THEIR INABILITY TO FORMULATE EFFECTIVE RESOURCES THAT WOULD HELP ME ELEVATE MY. BUSINESS AND RUN IT IN A PROFITABLE AND PRODUCTIVE WAY INSTRAD OF JUST TELLING ME AS THE 1 CALL BACK AND RESPONSE I RRCEIVED DID… HIS CONCLUSION AFTER HEARING MY BUSINESS PROPOSAL BROKEN DOWN WAS A SIMPLE” I don’t see where your gonna make any money.” Even though I obviously have been making a profit before I went the LLC route.

    My final overall conclusion is that if the sba needs more help they should hire some and if there is a lack of understanding on my part as to the proper ways to reach out to them locally and the time frame they need to reach back out to us to respond, besides the email and phone call to the local office, then they should make that information known and possibly leave it on their answering machine or create an auto response from their emails when people like me make attempts to reach out to them.

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