Who is Jovita Carranza?

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on small businesses nationwide.

Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza is overseeing much of the federal government's relief for the nation's small business owners after assuming the position in January.

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Carranza's path to administrator of the SBA is a lesson in hard work — she started as a part-time, night-shift box handler at UPS before working her way up to the executive level at the company, according to her SBA bio.

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Carranza, a Chicago native, departed UPS and served as SBA deputy administrator under President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009. During the Obama administration, she started JCR Group, a small business consulting company.

Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, speaks about the coronavirus at the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin l

She joined the Trump administration in 2017 as treasurer, a position within the Treasury Department that includes oversight of the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Fort Knox. The position has been vacant since she returned to the SBA.

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Carranza said her goals as SBA head include elevating female and veteran entrepreneurs as well as "expanding access to SBA resources among entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities."

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on small businesses nationwide, and the SBA has been at the forefront providing relief with the Paycheck Protection Program. PPP is giving out more than half a billion in loans to small businesses so they can keep paying employees.

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However, Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have faced scrutiny after he said the recipients and amounts of PPP loans will not be publicly disclosed.

"The Administration’s decision to hide basic PPP loan data is a disturbing sign of its lack of concern for who gets this funding, how much they receive or why," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement in June. "The American people expect full transparency to ensure that the CARES Act’s historic investment of their taxpayer money is used wisely and effectively to save lives and livelihoods, not to be used by profiteers and price-gougers."

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