Dilawar Syed Was Helping Small Businesses Long Before Being Nominated to the SBA

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readNov 21, 2021

He will continue to do so with or without a desk at the Small Business Administration. Can Republicans blocking his confirmation say the same?

19 June 2015; Dilawar Syed during day two of the conference. EnterConf 2015, T13, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Picture credit: Mark Marlow / SPORTSFILE.

Senate Republicans have already thrown everything but the kitchen sink at President Joe Biden’s pick for deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration.

They haven’t done so due to any shortcomings on the part of the candidate. Successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dilawar Syed has long been a champion of small businesses.

For the past 20 years, and especially over the past year, Mr. Syed has been an indispensable member of the California business community. In various capacities- working with the California Governor’s office, and the Obama Administration before that, and volunteering on his own initiative- Syed has already been doing exactly what Joe Biden wants him to do at the SBA:

Help connect struggling small business owners- in particular those in underserved communities- with the Small Business Administration COVID-19 assistance they need.

Except Dilawar Syed hasn’t been able to do this important work at the Small Business Administration. In all the long months since his nomination way back in March, he has instead languished in the confirmation process.

It’s not as if he isn’t qualified; if anything Dilawar Syed is over-qualified. Neither is it because he has not received enough votes to be confirmed.

There hasn’t even been a vote.

Instead, Senate Republicans have refused to even show up. On five separate occasions now, they have taken the extraordinary step of preventing a quorum and stopping the process completely by absenting themselves.

Their reasons for doing this have changed with the weather since March, under the auspice of everything from insinuations that smack of discrimination to objections just as far afield.

Pakistan-born Dilawar Syed is a prominent American Muslim and has been a well-respected member of the Asian-American community for decades. Frail attempts to malign him with accusations of a bias against Israel fell flat under a thunderous outpouring of support from the Jewish

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