In one of the least controversial appointments of Donald Trump’s presidency, Linda McMahon was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to lead the Small Business Administration.
At McMahon’s confirmation hearing just a few weeks ago, she was introduced and endorsed whole-heartedly by two Democrats, so it comes as no surprise that the McMahon nomination to the SBA had widespread bipartisan support, with the final Senate vote tally coming out to 81-19. McMahon had one of the least contentious confirmation hearings, with most members of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee discussing the work she plans to focus on during her tenure, rather than past controversies or qualification drilldowns that haunted other Trump Cabinet nominees.
Now that the 68-year-old former executive of World Wrestling Entertainment is staffed with heading up the SBA, what will her priorities be? Small business owners across the country got some hints from the nominee during her hearings. Here are some of the agenda items that may top McMahon’s list as she takes on the nearly $30 billion a year the SBA manages in government-backed small business loans and programs to support small business owners.
1. A Focus on Women-Owned Small Businesses
As a female executive herself, McMahon has a history of focusing on female small business owners and giving them tools to succeed. As co-founder and CEO of Women’s Leadership Live, an organization that holds conferences and promises to help members develop their leadership skills and connect with other successful female entrepreneurs and business leaders.
During the Senate confirmation hearings, McMahon was specifically asked by several committee members about her plans to help support female- and minority-owned businesses.
“I’ve always been a defender of the little guy and we need someone to go to bat for our small businesses,” she said. “I’m just the girl to do that.”
On Monday, President Trump hosted a group of female business leaders at the White House along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, suggesting the administration is focused on the issue as well — a good sign for McMahon’s agenda.
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2. Government Contract Streamlining
A major topic of concern for the Senate committee questioning McMahon during her confirmation process was the low rate of government contracts that were going toward small businesses. McMahon urged that she wanted to limit “bundling” — a practice that rolls a number of small projects into a one-stop contract — among government agencies awarding contracts so that smaller businesses that perhaps provide just one of the many projects in the bundle can get a fair bite at the apple.
3. Small Business Tax Reform
Though McMahon’s responsibilities as SBA head don’t encompass tax reforms, the Trump administration has hinted in the past few weeks at a comprehensive tax plan that would ease burdens on the average American as well as business owners. The SBA head will likely be involved in consulting with the administration officials tasked with creating Trump’s tax reform plan, so McMahon’s input could have a major impact. McMahon cited the taxing of LLCs as a concern for small business growth in her confirmation hearings, saying “I do think that if we’re involved in tax reform, we do need to consider how to make it a level playing field for those pass-through companies.”
Taxes and regulation are a common complaint among small business owners, with recent surveys pegging the cost of over-regulation at $12,000 for the average small business in America. That cost can mean the difference between success and failure for many small business owners. And when margins are tight, taking out business loans to hire a full-time accountant or compliance specialist to help ease your tax burden can get expensive fact, especially if you have a bad business credit score. You can see where your personal and business credit scores stand for free on Nav.com.
What do you want McMahon’s first priority to be as SBA chief? Add your take in the comments section below.
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