WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today praised the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) hiring of Carlos Sosa to be the Finance Specialist in the New Orleans United States Export Assistance Center (USEAC).

“This seat has been empty for far too long, so I thank the SBA for filling this vacancy,” Senator Landrieu said. “Increasing staff in export assistance centers throughout the country, and especially here in New Orleans – the artery of much of our nation’s commerce – is critical for small businesses, especially in these tough times. Because of the recession small businesses are seeing fewer sales at home while encountering more competition from international firms. Exporting is now a practical solution for these entrepreneurs and having experienced, guided help from people like Carlos is critical to their success.”

Assigning a trade counselor to help small businesses in Louisiana has been a top priority for Senator Landrieu for several years. Most recently, at a small business exporting hearing she chaired in New Orleans in June, Senator Landrieu urged the SBA and Department of Commerce to fill the vacancy left open due to budget cuts under the previous administration. Senator Landrieu introduced legislation in the past three Congresses aimed to fill the position. The two previous Senate Small Business Committee Chairs, Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine – the current Ranking Member – also both pushed for the seat to be filled in the past three SBA reauthorization bills.

“With experts like Carlos in communities across the nation aiding small exporters, entrepreneurs will have the tools they need to continue to create much-needed jobs and lessen the trade deficit at a critical time,” Sen. Landrieu said. “In fact, small exporters will go one step further and make our nation better able to compete in the global marketplace.”

To learn more about Carlos Sosa, please read the SBA’s news release here.