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Consultant Tapped for SBA; Is it the Right One?

By June 30, 2008

Sandy Baruah has been named by President Bush to head the Small Business Administration (SBA). Despite Baruah's stint as a corporate consultant, the reactions to his nomination have been mixed - particularly given the challenges that small businesses (and the SBA) face in today's economy.

While working for Oregon-based Performance Consulting Group, Baruah advised companies such as Intel and Disney. However, other than that seven-year consulting gig, Baruah's career has been firmly in the world of government. Most recently, he has been serving as an assistant secretary of commerce.

While no one denies the SBA is in need of some good advice and strong leadership, this article from BusinessWeek pinpoints the many concerns with Baruah. Primarily, there seems to be debate about his experience with small businesses and the private sector, in general. With the SBA facing continuing budget cuts and criticism for handling everything from disaster relief loans to government contract awards, critics say Baruah may not be the right "consultant" for the job.

Just for fun... If the government were to contract with a consultant or a consulting firm to help put the SBA back on track, what type of consultant should they hire? An image consultant? A marketing consultant? Someone specializing in only small businesses? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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