Small Businesses Need the SBA: The SBA Needs Dilawar Syed

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readNov 14, 2021

Senate Republicans blocking Mr. Syed’s confirmation to the Small Business Admin are hurting small businesses…and Republican midterm prospects.

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

Dilawar Syed was helping small business owners long before he was nominated to the Small Business Administration by President Joe Biden in March of 2021.

Mr. Syed was there post-2008, when an economic downturn threatened many U.S. small businesses and start-ups. Working with the Obama Administration, Syed dedicated much of his time in those days to making sure as many small businesses survived the crunch as possible.

He continued connecting small business owners- especially those in historically underserved and marginalized communities- with state and federal assistance programs through the California Governor’s office in the years that followed.

Over the last year, Dilawar Syed did even more of the same- giving generously of his time in an effort to help keep U.S. businesses afloat during a global pandemic.

His qualifications, his own personal success as an entrepreneur, and his long experience advocating for small business owners are the reasons President Biden nominated Dilawar Syed to be the deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration in the first place.

As he has clearly shown over the last two decades: With or without a desk to sit behind at the SBA, U.S. small businesses can count on Dilawar Syed.

The question is, can small businesses count on Senate Republicans?

Currently, Senate Republicans are hurting small businesses badly and threatening the U.S. economic recovery for the sake of petty obstructionist politics. Four separate times since March, they have prevented a vote on Dilawar Syed’s confirmation by refusing to even show up.

Their reasons for this blockade keep changing, but it now hinges on loans the SBA made over the past 18 months to Planned Parenthood and affiliates. Republicans say the loans weren’t lawful; Democrats say they were.

Since Dilawar Syed didn’t even work for the Small Business Administration at the time, it is difficult to see this latest objection as anything besides grasping at straws.