Civil rights, criminal justice leader appointed to head South Central Small Business Association


Rep. Edward “Ted” James

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — State Rep. Edward “Ted” James II, an advocate for criminal justice reform and civil rights in Louisiana, has been appointed by President Biden as Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Association’s South Central Region.

According to a news release from the SBA, Rep. James will oversee operations serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Their responsibilities are helping small businesses with financing, providing business education resources, helping with government contracts, and acting as their voice on policy matters. Relief programs like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to help small businesses through the pandemic have been a major part of their operations.

Mr. James is Chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, a legislative group dedicated to raising the quality of life for African Americans and those in need including access to education and economic opportunities. The LLBC forms a network of elected officials, religious and civic organizations, businesses, colleges, and universities to address issues affecting African American communities in Louisiana. He also serves as Chairman of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Committee, identifying problems that affect the Louisiana criminal justice system and work towards solutions.

“With his extraordinary dedication to public service and commitment to advancing communities, Ted’s leadership couldn’t come at a more crucial time for small businesses and innovative startups in our South Central region. Ted is an experienced and knowledgeable leader who will help advance the SBA’s programs – including our disaster portfolio. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated his home state, he was among those on-the-ground helping Louisianans rebuild and recover,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman.

She hopes Rep. James and the team of Regional Administrators can continue to help small businesses recover from the challenges of the last couple of years and strengthen local economies.

Region VI is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, with multiple SBDC centers located in each of the five states. Rep. James will take over for acting Regional Administrator and District Director Herb Austin.

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