WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and Small Business Majority lead a letter of support with nine other national small-business associations to Senate Leadership for Maria Contreras-Sweet's confirmation as the next SBA Administrator. The coalition citied Ms. Contreras-Sweet's private sector experience, her familiarity with driving policy in government administration, and her diversity as uniquely qualifying factors. The organizations urged a swift confirmation process for Ms. Contreras-Sweet's nomination.

Tomorrow, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a hearing on Ms. Contreras-Sweet's nomination. Ms. Contreras-Sweet will be the first Hispanic woman appointed to the SBA since its upgrade to a full cabinet-level agency.

"As a savvy businesswoman, Ms. Contreras-Sweet has a track record of successfully founding and managing her own business ventures. She possesses the necessary business acumen and entrepreneurial skills required to make her a strong advocate for the small business community," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "Maria's entire professional career has been a training ground for the formidable challenges and opportunities that await her at the SBA. We wholeheartedly support her nomination and look forward to working with her once confirmed."

"Ms. Contreras-Sweet has experience managing a government agency and directing policy. She managed California's $14 billion dollar budget for the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency. Such experience – coupled with her private sector work – will serve Ms. Contreras-Sweet well while informing the President of the rising barriers and windows of opportunities facing the small business community in changing economic climates," added Mr. Palomarez.

About the USHCC

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of our nation's entrepreneurs. The USHCC advocates on behalf of nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that together contribute in excess of $468 billion to the American economy, each year. As the leading organization of its kind, the USHCC serves as an umbrella to more than 200 local chambers and business associations across the nation, and partners with more than 220 major corporations.

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About the Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America's 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

February 11, 2014

The Honorable Mary Landrieu
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
428A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable James E. Risch
Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
428A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Landrieu and Ranking Member Risch,

We are writing you today in regard to President Obama's recent nomination of Maria Contreras–Sweet to lead the Small Business Administration (SBA). We proudly support Ms. Contreras–Sweet's candidacy, and hope that you will move her nomination expeditiously. We are confident that her unique background in business and government administration will make her a great asset both to the agency and the small business community.

Ms. Contreras–Sweet has significant accomplishments in the private sector. She is currently the Executive Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, a Los Angeles–based community bank focused on lending to small and medium–size enterprises. Before she founded ProAmérica Bank, she opened an international management consulting firm called the Contreras-Sweet Company which soon landed Disney, Coca Cola, and the Getty Museum. She was also president and co-founder of Fortius Holdings, LLC. The success of ProAmérica Bank and her work with other business ventures, demonstrate Ms. Contreras–Sweet's expertise in addressing the unique needs of the business community.

Ms. Contreras–Sweet has also served in public office as California's Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for five years. As Secretary, she oversaw a $14 billion budget and a workforce of 42,000 employees. She has been recognized for her outstanding service. In fact, the California State Legislature selected Ms. Contreras-Sweet for the Spirit of California award for her many contributions to the state. We believe that her effective management of this agency demonstrates her distinct administrative competency.

Ms. Contreras-Sweet has the experience to succeed as the Administrator of the SBA. In addition to her impressive résumé, she understands the distinct needs of small business community. As such, we believe that she is eminently qualified for this position.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully Submitted,

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Majority
Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship
International Franchise Association
Minority Business Roundtable
National Association for the Self-Employed
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Minority Supplier Development Council
Native American Contractors Association
United States Black Chambers, Inc.
Women's Business Enterprise National Council

CONTACT: Valentina Pereda USHCC Director of Communications 202-489-2932Source:United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce