WASHINGTON, July 19 The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship today unanimously voted to send Hector Barreto's nomination as U.S. Small Business Administrator to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote. Barreto, President Bush's nominee to head the agency, is a Hispanic businessman from Los Angeles with strong ties to national Hispanic business organizations.
Barreto, a securities broker-dealer and a vice chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was a co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign in California. Barreto is founder of Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. His firm specializes in creating comprehensive financial plans for both the business and private sectors.
Speaking today before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Barreto confirmed his commitment to working with private and public partners. "Small business has always been about relationships, and it's wonderful to know that the agency has so many strong and committed partners," he said.
Barreto spoke of the impact his family's small business has had on his life; "It has empowered my family to achieve the American Dream. Through my national small business relationships, I have come to appreciate the power and importance of small business on a national and international level."
He also committed himself to listening to small businesses and advocating on their behalf. "It has been my experience that if you listen to your customers, they will tell you what they need to succeed. I intend to continue to listen to our small business customers and act on their behalf."
Barreto pledged that the SBA will:
Listen to small businesses and work to reduce the burdens of outdated and overly cumbersome regulations;
Work with its financial partners to improve small business access to capital through the SBA's loan and venture capital programs;
Provide technical assistance and guidance through its entrepreneurial development partners 24 hours a day, and
Establish and strengthen its public and private partnerships to encourage greater contracting and business opportunities for our small businesses.
"As I contemplate the agency's evolving role in small business, I am gratified and excited by the opportunity to work with the President's Administration, the agency's partners, members of this committee and your Congressional colleagues as we pursue the important business of small business," he said.
Barreto is active in both business and community organizations, serving as a vice chairman of the board of directors for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and chairman of the USHCC's Legislative Committee.
From 1997 to 1999, Barreto served as chairman of the Latin Business Association (LBA). During his term, Barreto spearheaded the creation of the Latin Business Expo. This annual event focuses on procurement opportunities, corporate exhibitions and business education, and has been heralded as the most successful Latino business function in the state of California.