President Obama and the Arab American Community

SBA Takes Part in Muslim Business Leadership Roundtable

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from
I had the pleasure to recently participate in the White House Business Council’s Roundtable with Muslim American Business Leaders that brought together the business and faith-based community for a dialogue on how to support small businesses that start, grow and create jobs that sustain our nation’s economy.
The forum recognized the tremendous contributions of Muslim American entrepreneurs and small business owners. There were nearly 20 business owners in attendance that represented various industries and sectors of small business. The roundtable provided a platform to acquaint business leaders taking part with SBA’s programs and services that are available to assist small businesses.
Joining me at the roundtable was SBA’s John Shoraka, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, and Ann Marie Mehlum, Associate Administrator for Capital Access. Other participating agencies included the National Economic Council and the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. 
The conversation outlined the progress that SBA has made in supporting entrepreneurs, including minority-owned small businesses, and laid the groundwork for greater collaboration in the coming months with these important community leaders. 
The SBA was privileged to have a seat at the table to help address the needs of the Muslim American business community. It gave us an opportunity to tell the story of SBA’s mission to counsel and assist businesses, and to strengthen the economy of our nation. We were able to provide information about our key programs they can use to grow their businesses. This includes SBA’s lending programs that work to address gaps in capital, as well as our government contracting programs that help small businesses compete in the federal marketplace.
SBA’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships works to build strong relationships with both secular and faith-based nonprofit organizations to encourage entrepreneurship, support economic growth and promote prosperity for all Americans.
We at SBA recognize the important role of all business communities and networks in economic development at the federal level, and that partnerships can provide effective and valuable steps in moving forward to engage and impact communities, especially those that are underserved and economically challenged.
We are working to ensure that the nation’s job creators have access to the tools they need to build, grow and strengthen. 
Sarah Bard is the Director for SBA’s Office of Faith Based: Neighborhood Partnerships.

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