Washington, D.C. - On June 20 - 21, 2016, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama's Cabinet will travel to Havana, Cuba to build upon President Obama's successful visit in March 2016.
Contreras-Sweet will convene bilateral meetings regarding entrepreneurship and innovation with senior Cuban government officials and will discuss the potential for entrepreneurship to continue to improve the livelihoods and lives of the Cuban people.
NOTE: Ms. Contreras-Sweet visited the Republic of Cuba in March 2016, accompanying President Barack Obama.
SMALL BUSINESS ACT
(Public Law 85-536, as amended)
The essence of the American economic system of private enterprise is free competition. Only through full and free competition can free markets, free entry into business, and opportunities for the expression and growth of personal initiative and individual judgment be assured. The preservation and expansion of such competition is basic not only to the economic well-being but to the security of this Nation. Such security and well-being cannot be realized unless the actual and potential capacity of small business is encouraged and developed.
It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small-business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise, to insure that a fair proportion of the total purchases and contracts or subcontracts for property and services for the Government (including but not limited to contracts or subcontracts for maintenance, repair, and construction) be placed with small business enterprises, to insure that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to such enterprises, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the Nation.
It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Federal Government, through the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, acting through the Associate Administrator for International Trade and in cooperation with the Department of Commerce and other relevant State and Federal agencies, should aid and assist small businesses, as defined under this Act, to increase their ability to compete in international markets by— enhancing their ability to export; facilitating technology transfers; enhancing their ability to compete effectively and efficiently against imports; increasing the access of small businesses to long-term capital for the purchase of new plant and equipment used in the production of goods and services involved in international trade; disseminating information concerning State, Federal, and private programs and initiatives to enhance the ability of small businesses to compete in international markets; and ensuring that the interests of small businesses are adequately represented in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations.
The Congress recognizes that the Department of Commerce is the principal Federal agency for trade development and export promotion and that the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration work together to advance joint interests. It is the purpose of this Act to enhance, not alter, their respective roles.
It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government, through the Small Business Administration, should aid and assist small business concerns which are engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries; and the financial assistance programs authorized by this Act are also to be used to assist such concerns.
The assistance programs authorized by sections 7(i) and 7(j) of this Act are to be utilized to assist in the establishment, preservation, and strengthening of small business concerns and improve the managerial skills employed in such enterprises, with special attention to small business concerns (1) located in urban or rural areas with high proportions of unemployed or low-income individuals; or (2) owned by low-income individuals; and to mobilize for these objectives private as well as public managerial skills and resources.