WASHINGTON - To thank him for his dedication, credit union groups were among those that were scheduled to co-host a farewell reception for Hector Barreto, administrator of the Small Business Administration.
NAFCU, CUNA and more than a dozen other trade associations were expected to host the July 13 reception for Barreto at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Barreto announced in April that he would resign to head The Latino Coalition, a nonprofit organization that lobbies for issues affecting Hispanics. Barreto will be succeeded at SBA by Steven Preston, whose nomination cleared the Senate June 29. NAFCU President Fred Becker said credit unions appreciate the work Barreto has done, particularly his efforts to expand entry into the agency's 7(a) loan program. CUNA President Dan Mica applauded Barreto for recognizing "that credit unions can and do provide an affordable source of capital for the nation's small business entrepreneurs." "In short, he opened the door for credit unions to participate more fully in SBA's key lending programs," Mica said. "That took leadership and courage, particularly in the face of tough lobbying from banker groups to keep credit unions out of such programs." Mica said CUNA is also looking forward to working with Preston. Barreto has served as SBA's administrator for nearly five years. He has spoken at a number of credit union conferences encouraging partnerships with the agency to bring more SBA loans to members. Under his helm more than 270 credit unions are now 7(a) lenders.
Other trade groups expected at the reception were the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Association, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, Minority Business RoundTable, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women Presidents' Organization, Center for Women's Business Research, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, National Small Business Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Association of Small Business Investment Companies, HUBZone Contractors National Council, International Franchise Association, and Women Impacting Public Policy, Inc. -firstname.lastname@example.org