April 21, 2021

Cardin Says SBA Deputy Administrator Nominee Syed’s Business & Civic Leadership Has “Prepared Him to Lead SBA in this Pivotal Moment”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today convened a hearing on the nomination of Dilawar Syed to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). During the hearing, Cardin lauded Syed’s more than 20 year career building and scaling companies that are driving major impact across technology, healthcare and businesses services, as well as Syed’s record as a civic leader and advocate for entrepreneurs in Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, rural, and other underserved communities.

“I am confident that Mr. Syed’s experience as a business and civic leader has prepared him to lead SBA in this pivotal moment,” Cardin said during his opening statement. “Mr. Syed’s decades of building and scaling companies will help SBA as it continues to implement new small business relief programs. SBA will also benefit from Mr. Syed’s many years as an advocate for underserved entrepreneurs, including his service as Chair of the White House Initiative on AAPI’s Economic Growth Committee during the Obama Administration, founder of the California Entrepreneurship Task Force, and leader of California’s rapid response engagement with underserved small businesses during the pandemic.”

The SBA Deputy Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency. The position has remained vacant for more than 3 years due to the Trump Administration’s failure to put forward a nominee.

Cardin continued, “Filling this position with a qualified nominee is more important than ever because Congress has tasked the SBA with tremendous responsibilities as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief effort.”

Click here to watch Cardin’s opening statement, and click here to download an MP4.

Cardin’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, is below.

“Good afternoon.

“The purpose of today’s hearing is to hear from the nominee for Deputy SBA Administrator, Mr. Dilawar Syed. Mr. Syed, thank you for joining us today.

“The Deputy Administrator of SBA is responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency, so this position is vital to SBA’s success.

“And yet, this position has been vacant for the past three years due to the previous Administration’s failure to put forward a nominee.

“Filling this position with a qualified nominee is more important than ever because Congress has tasked the SBA with tremendous responsibilities as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief effort.

“In the past year, SBA has delivered more than $970 billion dollars in aid to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL, the EIDL Advance grants program, and the small business debt relief program.

“And in the coming days and weeks SBA will begin accepting applications for the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, as well as the $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

“In total, Congress has charged SBA with disbursing more than $1 trillion in COVID-19 small business aid—more than 10 times SBA’s annual budget during the Fiscal Year prior to the pandemic.

“SBA must continue to be a lifeline to small businesses for the remainder of the pandemic, and the agency will be key to ensuring an equitable economic recovery.

“I am confident that Mr. Syed’s experience as a business and civic leader has prepared him to lead SBA in this pivotal moment.

“Mr. Syed’s decades of building and scaling companies will help SBA as it continues to implement new small business relief programs. 

“SBA will also benefit from Mr. Syed’s many years as an advocate for underserved entrepreneurs, including his service as Chair of the White House Initiative on AAPI’s Economic Growth Committee during the Obama Administration, founder of the California Entrepreneurship Task Force, and leader of California’s rapid response engagement with underserved small businesses during the pandemic.

“Because of Mr. Syed’s broad experience and commitment to uplifting underserved entrepreneurs, he has been endorsed by more than a dozen business organizations, including the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Majority, and the U.S. Black Chambers.

“The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority-owned businesses has only highlighted the pervasive, historic disparities in access to capital, technical training, and mentorship.

“That is why the Committee’s top priority is improving SBA’s programs to better meet the needs of small businesses in Black, Latino, Asian, Native, rural, and other underserved communities to ensure an equitable recovery and prepare for future crises.

“Mr. Syed, if confirmed, we will need your insights into how to improve these programs.

“So I am asking for your commitment to operating SBA in a transparent manner and to maintaining open lines of communication.

“I want to thank you for stepping forward to serve our nation’s small businesses during this difficult, unprecedented period in our nation’s history, and I am looking forward to hearing your testimony.”

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