The way Linda McMahon sees it, it's a good time to be a small-business owner.
"This is a terrific time for small business in our country," the administrator of the Small Business Administration said Thursday.
McMahon, wife of World Wrestling Entertainment founder Vince McMahon and former U.S. Senate candidate, was in Lincoln on Thursday to speak at the Governor’s Summit on Economic Development at The Cornhusker Marriott.
McMahon pointed to moves that President Donald Trump has made since entering office that she says have helped small businesses, including rolling back regulations and cutting taxes.
She also highlighted the role the SBA has had in helping small businesses since Trump was elected: $44.2 billion in government-guaranteed loans that have created or retained 410,000 jobs.
Nebraska had $146 million SBA loans in the 2017 fiscal year, which was actually down slightly from 2016, but McMahon said 2018 is "on track to exceed that."
There is independent evidence to confirm what McMahon said Thursday.
Small-business optimism, as measured by the National Federation of Independent Business, hit an all-time high in May, although it fell slightly in June.
The NFIB also reported the number of U.S. small businesses either hiring or looking to hire hit a 19-year high last month.
When asked to explain how the president's tariffs on Chinese imports are affecting small businesses, McMahon said the president is taking a long-term approach that will help small businesses in the long term, but there will be, "a little pain along the way."
McMahon said Thursday that Nebraska was the 40th state she's visited since being appointed to head the SBA. After speaking in Lincoln, she headed to Omaha to visit Elliott Equipment Company, a 70-year-old, family-owned business that has grown its exports and its workforce through the help of the SBA's State Trade and Export Promotion grant program.