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SBA's top official hears about worker shortages in NH

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

November 13. 2017 11:59PM
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, right, tours a classroom with Office Manager Gina Millard at the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades in Manchester on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — After hearing business people talk about worker shortages, the head of the Small Business Administration said Monday that the SBA can help fund small businesses and teach their owners valuable skills.

“Getting access to capital is one thing, but if you don’t know how to run the business, the capital is going to rapidly evaporate,” Linda McMahon said in an interview after meeting privately with about 15 business people at the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades.

She has toured nearly half the 50 states this year, making sure the “SBA does not remain the best kept secret in the country.”

McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, said, “I would love to see more businesses that we are assisting because they are creating even more jobs.”

Rita McCabe, who received a SBA loan for her Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt business in Nashua, said it was good to hear what concerned other businesses.

“The big issue for everyone was finding people who want to work and have the skills,” McCabe said afterward.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, who attended, said that access to funds once topped the list of concerns among small business owners.

“Now, it’s access to skilled workers who can do their jobs, so they can grow, and we heard several people comment on the fact if they had the workers, they would be able to grow their businesses now,” Shaheen said.

McMahon said SBA is working with companies through educational networking programs to help them understand the issue of worker shortages.

Some businesses “are setting up classes to actually teach some of those incoming employees about the importance of being prompt, how to dress for work, what it means in your community to be gainfully employed,” she said.

McCabe said it took about six months to get her SBA loan, longer than she hoped.

“I think we are continuing to look at that process and how technology is helping us to be more efficient in that process as well,” the SBA administrator said. “We want to streamline it.”

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, right, tours a classroom with Office Manager Gina Millard at The New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades in Manchester on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

McMahon predicted Congress would approve “a good tax reform program that will benefit small businesses because we are looking at cutting taxes.”

McMahon ate lunch and met with executives of Giorgio’s Ristorante & Bar, a Manchester eatery that benefited from a SBA loan.

“It was kind of an honor for her to come in and have lunch,” said manager Deanna Byam, who confirmed McMahon ordered minestrone soup.

McMahon named Paul “Triple H” Levesque as her favorite wrestler. The Nashua native still keeps a home along Lake Winnipesaukee — and is married to McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie.

Asked who was easier to manage, wrestlers or the federal government, McMahon laughed and said: “Well, I think you wrestle with both sometimes.”


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