Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration in the United States

Introduction to Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration, independent agency of the U.S. government, created in 1953. Its functions are to make loans to small businesses unable to obtain financing from private sources on reasonable terms; to help small firms sell their products and services to the federal government; to make loans to small business concerns affected by natural disasters; to license and regulate privately owned investment companies that make loans to small businesses; to develop and improve the managerial skills of prospective and current small-business owners; and to provide aid and support to women and minority groups in order to increase their participation in small-business ownership. The head of the agency is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.” (1)


The Small Business Administration aids, counsels, assists, and protects the interests
of small business; ensures that small-business concerns receive a fair portion of
Government purchases, contracts and subcontracts, and sales of Government
property; makes loans to small-business concerns, State and local development
companies, and the victims of natural disasters or of certain types of economic injury;
and licenses, regulates, and makes loans to small-business investment companies.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created by the Small Business Act
of 1953 and derives its present existence and authority from the Small Business
Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.) and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15
U.S.C. 661).

Legal Materials

The Small Business Administration is a U.S. government agency with the primary purpose of helping small U.S. business.

The SBA web site provides information about the SBA, forms, publications, statutes, regulations & lots of other information, including economic profiles of each state.

Decisions: Decisions of the SBA’s Office of Hearings & Appeals can be searched from the SBA’s OHA Decisions page. OHA decisions are also available from June 12, 1961 to the present on Lexis (PUBCON;SBA). OHA decisions are available from December 1983 to the present on Westlaw (FGC-SBA).

Forms: Most SBA forms are posted on the SBA’s Forms page. To get a form that’s not online, call the SBA. (You’re supposed to call your local office, and you can look up the number at If that doesn’t work, call the SBA Answer desk at 800-827-5722 or the National Office in D.C.).



The Office of Advocacy is mandated by Congress to serve as an independent voice within the Federal Government for the approximately 27.2 million small businesses throughout the country. The Office is headed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, appointed by the President from the private sector with the advice and consent of the Senate, who advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before the Congress, the White House, and Federal and State regulatory agencies.

The Office monitors and reports annually on Federal agency compliance
with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which requires agencies to analyze the
impact of their regulations on small businesses and consider less burdensome
alternatives. Small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental jurisdictions. Executive Order 13272 requires Federal agencies to take the Office’s comments into consideration before proposed regulations are finalized and requires the Office to train Federal agencies on RFA compliance.

The Office is one of the leading grants to nonpro?t organizations that act as intermediaries under SBA’s microloan program.

For further information, contact the nearest Small Business Administration district office (see Field Operations below).

Government Contracting

SBA helps small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned
small businesses,  and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses obtain a fair share of Government procurement through a variety of programs and services. The contracting liaison helps
small businesses secure an equitable share of natural resources sold by the
Federal Government. It works closely with Federal agencies and the Office of
Management and Budget to establish policy and regulations concerning
small-business access to Government contracts. It assists in the formulation of
small-business procurement policies as they relate to size standards, the Small
Business Innovation Research Program, and the Small Business Technology
Transfer Program.

For further information, contact the nearest Offce of Government Contracting. Locate in Internet:

International Trade

The Office of International Trade (OIT) supports small-business access to export markets and participates in broader U.S. Government activities related to trade policy and international commercial affairs to encourage an environment of trade and international economic policies favorable to small businesses. These activities are designed to facilitate both entrance and growth into the international marketplace, including educational initiatives, technical assistance programs and services, and risk management and trade finance products.

SBA’s export promotion activities for small business combine financial and
technical assistance through a nationwide delivery system. Export-finance products
include long-term, short-term, and revolving lines of credit through SBA’s
7(a) Loan Program, administered by a SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 451
staff of field-based export specialists located in U.S. Export Assistance
Centers (USEACs). They work with the U.S. Department of Commerce and
the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the effort is leveraged through
close collaboration with commercial lenders, Small Business Development
Centers, and local business development organizations.

Available financial assistance can provide a business with up to $1.25
million, with terms up to 25 years for real estate and 15 years for equipment. Export
Working Capital Program loans generally provide 12 months of renewable
financing. For smaller loan amounts, SBA Export Express has a streamlined, quick
approval process for businesses needing up to $250,000. Technical assistance
includes making available to current and potential small-business exporters export
training, export legal assistance, and collaboration with the 30 Small Business
Development Centers with international trade expertise and the Government’s
USA Trade Information Center.

SBA is required to work with the Government’s international trade
agencies to ensure that small business is adequately represented in bilateral
and multilateral trade negotiations. OIT represents SBA and the Government on
two official U.S. Government-sponsored multilateral organizations concerned
with small business: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. SBA’s trade policy involvement is carried
out with the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. Private sector input on trade policy is achieved through participation with the small-business Industry Sector Advisory Committee on international trade.

OIT also lends support to the Government’s key trade initiatives, such as Trade Promotion Authority, the Central American Free Trade Area, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The
Commerce and State Departments, the Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Trade Representative look to the SBA to share ideas and provide small-national sources for information on the state of small business and the issues that affect small-business success and growth.

It conducts economic and statistical research into matters affecting the
competitive strength of small business, jobs created by small businesses, and the
impact of Federal laws, regulations, and programs on small businesses, making
recommendations to policymakers for appropriate adjustments to meet the special needs of small business.

Additionally, regional advocates enhance communication between the
small-business community and the Chief Counsel. As the Chief Counsel’s
direct link to local business owners, State and local government agencies,
State legislatures, and small-business organizations, they help identify new
issues and problems of small business by monitoring the effect of Federal and
State regulations and policies on the local business communities within their


Notes and References

  1. Information about Small Business Administration in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia

Further Reading



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