Trump chooses ex-WWE exec McMahon for small business
President-elect Donald Trump is adding former wrestling executive Linda McMahon to his Cabinet as leader of the Small Business Administration.
McMahon, 68, and her husband, Vince, founded and built World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., now a publicly traded sports entertainment company.
She stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2009 and earlier this year launched a joint venture, Women’s Leadership LIVE, which promotes opportunities for women in business and public service.
She also poured $100 million of her fortune into two unsuccessful bids for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012 and has become an influential Republican donor — including to the Trump campaign.
“Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit all across the country,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday.
Trump said McMahon shares his vision of decreasing “burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle-class workers and small businesses.”
The SBA, best known for the small business loans it makes and the disaster aid it provides to companies and entrepreneurs, is also tasked with monitoring government officials’ compliances with contract laws. Its budget is generally under $1 billion.
Some national small business advocates said they had little experience with McMahon but hoped she would understand the needs of small companies. Connecticut members of the National Federation of Independent Business supported McMahon when she ran for Senate, NFIB spokesman Jack Mozloom said.
“Her views with small business aligned very well with our views. If that indicates what kind of SBA administrator she’ll be, that’ll be good,” Mozloom said.
The Small Business Majority said it would have liked a nominee with more direct small business experience, but was optimistic McMahon would support companies and their owners.
“We hope that she recognizes the unique role that the SBA plays in providing much-needed capital and support to America’s small businesses and that she is prepared to play a strong role advocating or small business needs throughout the government,” said John Arensmeyer, the group’s CEO.
The contract laws that the SBA monitors compliance with are aimed at ensuring small businesses get at least 23 percent of federal contracting money that is considered eligible for small businesses. The SBA also sponsors small business training and assistance at hundreds of centers across the country. And its Office of Advocacy’s responsibilities include challenging government regulations that pose a burden for small businesses.
Linda McMahon speaks to members of the media outside Trump Tower last month. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will nominate her to serve as head of the Small Business Administration.