The head of the Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, gave an exclusive interview Tuesday to FBN’s Jo Ling Kent touching on topics ranging from the looting in Ferguson to the minimum wage debate.
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Regarding Ferguson, Contreras-Sweet said the SBA is in a unique position to aid small businesses during difficult times.
“During a disaster we can actually go into a community and provide direct economic support for homes and for businesses that have been affected,” Contreras-Sweet said.
In order for Ferguson small businesses to receive an SBA economic injury disaster loan, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon would need to request assistance from the SBA, which would then set up a disaster assistance center. Small businesses could then fill out paperwork to qualify for one of these loans, which are available for up to 30-year terms with a 4% interest rate. The maximum loan amount is $2 million. As of Tuesday afternoon, SBA Press Office Director Terry Sutherland and Deputy Director Carol Chastang said Gov. Nixon had not yet requested SBA assistance.
Aside from Ferguson, Contreras-Sweet also talked about another hot button issue: raising the minimum wage.
“What we’ve been hearing from [small businesses] is they treat their employees like family. It’s not like a large corporation … these are the employees they’ve grown up with,” Contreras-Sweet said. “These are families. They want them to have livable wages. They want to make sure they’re living above poverty. They want to make sure they’re satisfied and morale is up.”
Watch the video above for the full interview with SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet.