The Associated Press; By: Sam Hananel

President Barack Obama's choice to head the Small Business Administration told lawmakers Wednesday that if she is confirmed, she would make it a priority to get money flowing again through the agency's loan programs.

Karen Mills, a venture capitalist from Maine, said working to "unstick" the frozen credit markets is key to helping small businesses weather the economic meltdown.

"To find our way out of the current economic crisis, we have to find ways to help small businesses stay in operation and even expand," Mills said at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Small Business Committee.

Mills received a warm reception from the panel, which was expected to approve her nomination later Wednesday. She could win full Senate approval by the end of the week.

Committee chairwoman Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Mills has "the right mix of experience and education" to handle the post. 

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