Following is a statement from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Ranking Democrat on the Semate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, on today’s resignation of Small Business Administration Chief Hector Barreto:



"The President has a real opportunity here to show a commitment to helping America’s small businesses from all sectors succeed. His true colors will be revealed in his choice. America’s entrepreneurs need an advocate, not more of the same Bush Administration big business agenda.



"In the last five years, we have seen the complete and utter abandonment of our small businesses courtesy of the Bush Administration. Since George Bush took office, the SBA’s budget has been slashed by more than 40 percent, critical lending and counseling programs have been on the chopping block, and we have witnessed the most abysmal response to the needs of Gulf Coast victims devastated by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.



"It’s time for a change."