Last week, Joyce Rosenberg, an AP Business Writer, penned an op-ed piece regarding Maria Contreras-Sweet, who was recently nominated by President Obama to head the Small Business Administration. It was a nice piece that I thought I'd share with you.

Maria Contreras-Sweet, are you listening? Now that President Barack Obama has nominated you to run the Small Business Administration, owners have a to-do list for you.

The SBA needs to get banks to lend more, help small companies win more federal contracts and work toward easing regulations, they say. And it needs to get the word out to companies about what it has to offer.

Last week, Obama nominated Contreras-Sweet to head the agency tasked with helping Americans start, build and grow businesses. She's worked with small companies as head of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and co-founder of Los Angeles-based ProAmerica bank, whose customers are small and medium-sized companies.

Small business owners may be looking to the next SBA administrator for help making their companies stronger, but the role reaches into job creation and the health of the broader economy. More than 99 percent of the 27 million companies in the U.S. are small businesses. They employ about half the nation's workforce.

The new administrator will face ongoing challenges like the government's inability to meet its goals for small business contracts, banks that don't want to lend to small businesses and pressure to aid the slow economic recovery. The new SBA head must attempt to accomplish this with the smallest budget of any federal agency. The SBA's most recent annual budget was $929 million compared to $573 billion for the Pentagon. Read the full article here.

Photo above of Maria Contreras-Sweet: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File