WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a roundtable today entitled, “The SBA In Your Community: A Review of SBA Field Operations.” The object of the roundtable was to discuss the face of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Office of Field Operations. It is the largest office within SBA, with 900 employees and 100 office locations in each state and territory in the US.

“Today, SBA operations are leaner and meaner, but we must remind ourselves that a line must be drawn when it comes to cutting our field offices,” Chair Landrieu said. “I know the Louisiana District Office went from 21 employees to 11. We must have employees inside our state offices answering questions, providing oversight for programs, and giving small businesses the advice to grow and prosper and ensure economic growth across the country.

“As we craft laws and provide oversight on Federal programs, these District Offices serve as the ‘front door’ for small businesses to SBA programs, so it is essential to hear from them about the successes and challenges occurring in their areas. Their advice is a crucial component for crafting effective legislation and I look forward to continuing the conversation and working to improve SBA’s operations on the ground,” Senator Landrieu concluded.

Over eight years, the Bush administration slashed more than a quarter of the agency’s funding. Field Operations, as the largest office within SBA, saw its budget and staffing reduced as part of these cuts. The SBA Field Offices went from 1800 employees in the Clinton administration to nearly 900 during the Bush Administration.

The roundtable included District Directors from various areas of the country who discussed their experience helping Americans startup or expand their small businesses. The focus of the roundtable was to learn more about how the SBA implements the programs in the field as these programs help to spur the American economy by aiding small business owners across the nation.