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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs

Oscar R. Gonzales
Analyst in Economic Development Policy

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guarantee programs to enhance small business access to capital; contracting programs to increase small business opportunities in federal contracting; direct loan programs for businesses, homeowners, and renters to assist their recovery from natural disasters; and small business management and technical assistance training programs to assist business formation and expansion.

Congressional interest in the SBA’s loan and contracting programs has increased in recent years, primarily because small businesses are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, and assist in the national economic recovery. Many Members of Congress also regularly receive constituent inquiries about SBA loans, the loan guarantee programs, and special contracting programs and this report provides an overview of these programs. In addition, the SBA’s authorization is scheduled to expire on January 31, 2011.

This report is designed to assist Congress in the event that it considers the reauthorization of the SBA by providing a summary and analysis of the SBA’s major programs, including changes made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5) and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240), and by referencing other CRS reports which examine these programs in greater detail.

This report will be updated to reflect legislative action and programmatic changes.

Date of Report: January 20, 2011
Number of Pages: 24
Order Number: RL33243
Price: $29.95

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