Will McMahon’s Small Business Administration Work for Main Street?

With her questionable business practices, Linda McMahon’s confirmation raises serious concerns for small business owners.

The confirmation of Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration (SBA) raises questions about the future direction of the agency. The SBA is a complex, highly technical agency that provides critical financing to small business owners and helps foster economic development in communities. Under the right, skilled leadership, the SBA has the potential to provide vital financing and resources to growing small businesses, particularly those facing barriers to capital access.

The Main Street Alliance is concerned that Linda McMahon lacks the knowledge or commitment to small businesses necessary to lead this agency. She has minimal experience working in the small business lending space and has done little to foster a healthy environment for small business owners. She and her husband built an enormous business empire by undermining and aggressively absorbing competitors, and she faces significant allegations of questionable business practices such as pay-to-play.

“The primary functions of the SBA must be to provide low-interest starter loans for Main Street startups and mentoring programs for small business owners,” said Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite LLC in Kenilworth, NJ, and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee Member.  “The future of employment will depend on McMahon’s ability to improve the success rate of small enterprises with small business focused advice and increased access to capital.”

The SBA is an important institution for economic development in communities. Rather than operate as a privilege post for big donors, it should be focused on fostering a healthy, competitive environment for small business owners.