Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several types of programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty and venture capital 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, venture capital, training, and contracting programs has increased in recent years, primarily because small businesses are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity and create jobs. Many Members of Congress also regularly receive constituent inquiries about the SBA’s programs.

This report provides an overview of the SBA’s programs, including

entrepreneurial development programs (including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, and Microloan Technical Assistance);

disaster assistance;

capital access programs (including the 7(a) loan guaranty program, the 504/Certified Development Company loan guaranty program, the Microloan program, International Trade and Export Promotion programs, and lender oversight);

contracting programs (including the 8(a) Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program, the Historically Underutilized Business Zones [HUBZones] program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, the Women-Owned Small Business [WOSB] Federal Contract Program, and the Surety Bond Guarantee Program);

SBA regional and district offices;

the Office of Inspector General;

the Office of Advocacy; and

capital investment programs (including the Small Business Investment Company program, the New Markets Venture Capital program, the Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] program, the Small Business Technology Transfer program [STTR], and growth accelerators).

The report also discusses recent programmatic changes resulting from the enactment of legislation (such as P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), and P.L. 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018).

In addition, it provides an overview of the SBA’s budget and references other CRS reports that examine these programs in greater detail.

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

March 29, 2018 (RL33243)
Jump to Main Text of Report

Contents

Summary

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several types of programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty and venture capital 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, venture capital, training, and contracting programs has increased in recent years, primarily because small businesses are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity and create jobs. Many Members of Congress also regularly receive constituent inquiries about the SBA's programs.

This report provides an overview of the SBA's programs, including

  • entrepreneurial development programs (including Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, SCORE, and Microloan Technical Assistance);
  • disaster assistance;
  • capital access programs (including the 7(a) loan guaranty program, the 504/Certified Development Company loan guaranty program, the Microloan program, International Trade and Export Promotion programs, and lender oversight);
  • contracting programs (including the 8(a) Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program, the Historically Underutilized Business Zones [HUBZones] program, the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, the Women-Owned Small Business [WOSB] Federal Contract Program, and the Surety Bond Guarantee Program);
  • SBA regional and district offices;
  • the Office of Inspector General;
  • the Office of Advocacy; and
  • capital investment programs (including the Small Business Investment Company program, the New Markets Venture Capital program, the Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] program, the Small Business Technology Transfer program [STTR], and growth accelerators).

The report also discusses recent programmatic changes resulting from the enactment of legislation (such as P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), and P.L. 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018).

In addition, it provides an overview of the SBA's budget and references other CRS reports that examine these programs in greater detail.


Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

Introduction

Established in 1953, the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) origins can be traced to the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II, when concerns about unemployment and war production were paramount. The SBA assumed some of the functions of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), which had been created by the federal government in 1932 to provide funding for businesses of all sizes during the Depression and later financed war production. During the early 1950s, the RFC was disbanded following charges of political favoritism in the granting of loans and contracts.1

In 1953, Congress passed the Small Business Act (P.L. 83-163), which authorized the SBA. The act specifies that the SBA's mission is to promote the interests of small businesses to enhance competition in the private marketplace:

It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small-business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise, to insure that a fair proportion of the total purchases and contracts or subcontracts for property and services for the Government (including but not limited to contracts or subcontracts for maintenance, repair, and construction) be placed with small-business enterprises, to insure that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to such enterprises, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the Nation.2

The SBA currently administers several types of programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty and venture capital 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 these programs has increased in recent years, primarily because small businesses are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity and create jobs. Many Members of Congress also regularly receive constituent inquiries about the SBA's programs.

This report provides an overview of the SBA's programs and funding. It also references other CRS reports that examine the SBA's programs in greater detail.3

The SBA's FY2019 congressional budget justification document includes funding and program costs for the following programs and offices:

  • 1. entrepreneurial development programs (including Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, SCORE, Entrepreneurial Education, Native American Outreach, PRIME, the State Trade Expansion Program, and veterans' programs);
  • 2. disaster assistance;
  • 3. capital access programs (including the 7(a) loan guaranty program, the 504/Certified Development Company [CDC] loan guaranty program, the Microloan program, International Trade and Export Promotion programs, and lender oversight);
  • 4. contracting programs (including the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program, the 8(a) Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development program, the Historically Underutilized Business Zones [HUBZones] program, the Prime Contract Assistance program, the Women's Business program, the Subcontracting program, and the Surety Bond Guarantee program);
  • 5. regional and district offices (counseling, training, and outreach services);
  • 6. the Office of Inspector General (OIG);
  • 7. capital investment programs (including the Small Business Investment Company [SBIC] program, the New Market Venture Capital program, the Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] program, the Small Business Technology Transfer program [STTR], and growth accelerators);
  • 8. the Office of Advocacy; and
  • 9. executive direction programs (the National Women's Business Council, Office of Ombudsman, and Faith-Based Initiatives).

Table 1 shows the SBA's estimated costs in FY2018 for these program areas. Program costs often differ from new budget authority provided in annual appropriations acts because the SBA has specified authority to carry over appropriations from previous fiscal years. The SBA also has limited, specified authority to shift appropriations among various programs.

Table 1. Major SBA Program Areas, Estimated Program Costs, FY2018

($ in millions)

Program Category

Estimated Costs

Entrepreneurial Development Programs

$354.827

Disaster Loan Programs

$183.721

Capital Access Programs

$163.945

Contracting Programs

$92.419

Regional and District Offices

$30.156

Office of Inspector General

$29.539

Capital Investment Programs

$26.486

Office of Advocacy

$12.432

Executive Direction Programs

$4.007

Total

$897.532

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, pp. 18, 19, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

Notes: Program costs often differ from new budget authority provided in annual appropriations acts because the SBA has specified authority to carry over appropriations from previous fiscal years. The SBA also has limited, specified authority to shift appropriations among various programs.

Entrepreneurial Development Programs4

The SBA's entrepreneurial development (ED) noncredit programs provide a variety of management and training services to small businesses. Initially, the SBA provided its own management and technical assistance training programs. Over time, the SBA has come to rely increasingly on third parties to provide that training.

The SBA receives appropriations for seven ED programs and two ED initiatives5:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs),
  • the Microloan Technical Assistance Program,
  • Women Business Centers (WBCs),
  • SCORE,
  • the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME),
  • Veterans Programs (including Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Boots to Business, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship [VWISE], Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and Boots to Business: Reboot),
  • the Native American Outreach Program (NAO),
  • the Entrepreneurial Development Initiative (Clusters), and
  • the Entrepreneurship Education Initiative.

The SBA also receives appropriations for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). STEP grants are awarded to states to support export programs that assist small business concerns, such as a trade show exhibition, training workshops, or a foreign trade mission.

The SBA reports that over 1 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners receive training from an SBA-supported resource partner each year. Some of this training is free, and some is offered at low cost.

SBDCs provide free or low-cost assistance to small businesses using programs customized to local conditions. SBDCs support small business in marketing and business strategy, finance, technology transfer, government contracting, management, manufacturing, engineering, sales, accounting, exporting, and other topics. SBDCs are funded by grants from the SBA and matching funds. There are 63 lead SBDC service centers, one located in each state (four in Texas and six in California), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. These lead SBDC service centers manage more than 900 SBDC outreach locations.

The SBA's Microloan Technical Assistance program is part of the SBA's Microloan program but receives a separate appropriation. It provides grants to Microloan intermediaries to offer management and technical training assistance to Microloan program borrowers and prospective borrowers.6 There are currently 144 active Microloan intermediaries serving 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.7

WBCs are similar to SBDCs, except they concentrate on assisting women entrepreneurs. There are currently 109 WBCs, with at least one WBC in most states and territories.

SCORE was established on October 5, 1964, by then-SBA Administrator Eugene P. Foley as a national, volunteer organization, uniting more than 50 independent nonprofit organizations into a single, national nonprofit organization. SCORE's 320 chapters and more than 800 branch offices are located throughout the United States and partner with more than 11,000 volunteer counselors, who are working or retired business owners, executives, and corporate leaders, to provide management and training assistance to small businesses.

PRIME provides SBA grants to nonprofit microenterprise development organizations or programs that have "a demonstrated record of delivering microenterprise services to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; an intermediary; a microenterprise development organization or program that is accountable to a local community, working in conjunction with a state or local government or Indian tribe; or an Indian tribe acting on its own, if the Indian tribe can certify that no private organization or program referred to in this paragraph exists within its jurisdiction."8

The SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) administers several management and training programs to assist veteran-owned businesses, including 21 Veterans Business Outreach Centers which provide "outreach, assessment, long term counseling, training, coordinated service delivery referrals, mentoring and network building, procurement assistance and E-based assistance to benefit Small Business concerns and potential concerns owned and controlled by Veterans, Service Disabled Veterans and Members of Reserve Components of the U.S. Military."9

The SBA's Office of Native American Affairs provides management and technical educational assistance to Native Americans (American Indians, Alaska natives, native Hawaiians, and the indigenous people of Guam and American Samoa) to start and expand small businesses.

The SBA reports that "regional innovative clusters are on-the-ground collaborations between business, research, education, financing and government institutions that work to develop and grow the supply chain of a particular industry or related set of industries in a geographic region."10 The SBA has supported the Entrepreneurial Development Initiative (Clusters) since FY2009, and the initiative has received recommended appropriations from Congress since FY2010.

The SBA's Entrepreneurship Education initiative provides assistance to high-growth small businesses in underserved communities through the Emerging Leaders initiative and the SBA Learning Center. The Emerging Leaders initiative is a seven‐month executive leader education series consisting of "more than 100 hours of specialized training, technical support, access to a professional network, and other resources to strengthen their businesses and promote economic development."11 At the conclusion of the training, "participants produce a three‐year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets that help them access the necessary support and resources to move forward for the next stage of business growth."12 The Learning Center is the SBA's primary online training service, which offers free online courses on business planning, marketing, government contracting, accounting, and social media, providing learners an "opportunity to access entrepreneurship education resources through toolkits, fact sheets, infographic tip sheets, instructor guides, and audio content."13

Disaster Loans

Overview14

SBA disaster assistance is provided in the form of loans, not grants, which must be repaid to the federal government. The SBA's disaster loans are unique in two respects: they are the only loans made by the SBA that (1) go directly to the ultimate borrower and (2) are not limited to small businesses.15

SBA disaster loans are available to individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in declared disaster areas.16 About 80% of the SBA's direct disaster loans are issued to individuals and households (renters and property owners) to repair and replace homes and personal property. In recent years, the SBA Disaster Loan Program has been the subject of regular congressional and media attention because of concerns expressed about the time it takes the SBA to process disaster loan applications. The SBA approved $1.41 billion in disaster loans in FY2016 and $1.66 billion in disaster loans in FY2017.17

Types of Disaster Loans

The SBA Disaster Loan Program includes the following categories of loans for disaster-related losses: home disaster loans, business physical disaster loans, economic injury disaster loans, and pre-disaster mitigation loans.18

Disaster Loans to Homeowners, Renters, and Personal Property Owners

Homeowners, renters, and personal property owners located in a declared disaster area (and in contiguous counties) may apply to the SBA for loans to help recover losses from a declared disaster. Only victims located in a declared disaster area (and contiguous counties) are eligible to apply for disaster loans. Disaster declarations are "official notices recognizing that specific geographic areas have been damaged by floods and other acts of nature, riots, civil disorders, or industrial accidents such as oil spills."19 Five categories of declarations put the SBA Disaster Loan Program into effect. These include two types of presidential major disaster declarations as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act)20 and three types of SBA declarations.21

The SBA's Home Disaster Loan Program falls into two categories: personal property loans and real property loans. These loans are limited to uninsured losses. The maximum term for SBA disaster loans is 30 years, but the law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to a maximum 7-year term. The SBA sets the installment payment amount and corresponding maturity based upon each borrower's ability to repay.

Personal Property Loans

A personal property loan provides a creditworthy homeowner or renter with up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property items, such as furniture, clothing, or automobiles, damaged or lost in a disaster. These loans cover only uninsured or underinsured property and primary residences and cannot be used to replace extraordinarily expensive or irreplaceable items, such as antiques or recreational vehicles. Interest rates vary depending on whether applicants are able to obtain credit elsewhere. For applicants who can obtain credit without SBA assistance, the interest rate may not exceed 8% per year. For applicants who cannot obtain credit without SBA assistance, the interest rate may not exceed 4% per year.22

Real Property Loans

A creditworthy homeowner may apply for a real property loan of up to $200,000 to repair or restore his or her primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.23 The loans may not be used to upgrade homes or build additions, unless upgrades or changes are required by city or county building codes. The interest rate for real property loans is determined in the same way as it is determined for personal property loans.

Disaster Loans to Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations

Several types of loans, discussed below, are available to businesses and nonprofit organizations located in counties covered by a presidential disaster declaration. In certain circumstances, the SBA will also make these loans available when a governor, the Secretary of Agriculture, or the Secretary of Commerce makes a disaster declaration. Physical disaster loans are available to almost any nonprofit organization or business. Other business disaster loans are limited to small businesses.

Physical Disaster Loan

Any business or nonprofit organization, regardless of size, can apply for a physical disaster business loan of up to $2 million for repairs and replacements to real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory, and leasehold improvements that are not covered by insurance. Physical disaster loans for businesses may use up to 20% of the verified loss amount for mitigation measures in an effort to prevent loss from a similar disaster in the future. Nonprofit organizations that are rejected or approved by the SBA for less than the requested amount for a physical disaster loan are, in some circumstances, eligible for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For applicants that can obtain credit without SBA assistance, the interest rate may not exceed 8% per year. For applicants that cannot obtain credit without SBA assistance, the interest rate may not exceed 4% per year.24

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) are limited to small businesses as defined by the SBA's size regulations, which vary from industry to industry.25 If the Secretary of Agriculture designates an agriculture production disaster, small farms and small cooperatives are eligible. EIDLs are available in the counties included in a presidential disaster declaration and contiguous counties. The loans are designed to provide small businesses with operating funds until those businesses recover. The maximum loan is $2 million, and the terms are the same as personal and physical disaster business loans. The loan can have a maturity of up to 30 years and has an interest rate of 4% or less.26

Capital Access Programs

Overview

The SBA has authority to make direct loans but, with the exception of disaster loans and loans to Microloan program intermediaries, has not exercised that authority since 1998.27 The SBA indicated that it stopped issuing direct business loans primarily because the subsidy rate was "10 to 15 times higher" than the subsidy rate for its loan guaranty programs.28 Instead of making direct loans, the SBA guarantees loans issued by approved lenders to encourage those lenders to provide loans to small businesses "that might not otherwise obtain financing on reasonable terms and conditions."29 With few exceptions, to qualify for SBA assistance, an organization must be both a business and small.30

What Is a Business?

To participate in any of the SBA programs, a business must meet the SBA's definition of small business. This is a business that

  • is organized for profit;
  • has a place of business in the United States;
  • operates primarily within the United States or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor;
  • is independently owned and operated; and
  • is not dominant in its field on a national basis.31

The business may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other legal form.

What Is Small?32

The SBA uses two measures to determine if a business is small: SBA-derived industry specific size standards or a combination of the business's net worth and net income. For example, businesses participating in the SBA's 7(a) loan guaranty program are deemed small if they either meet the SBA's industry-specific size standards for firms in 1,047 industrial classifications in 18 sub-industry activities described in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) or do not have more than $15 million in tangible net worth and not more than $5 million in average net income after federal taxes (excluding any carryover losses) for the two full fiscal years before the date of the application. All of the company's subsidiaries, parent companies, and affiliates are considered in determining if it meets the size standard.33

The SBA's industry size standards vary by industry, are designed to encourage competition within the industry, and are based on one of the following four measures: the firm's (1) average annual receipts in the previous three years, (2) number of employees, (3) asset size, or (4) for refineries, a combination of number of employees and barrel per day refining capacity. Historically, the SBA has used the number of employees to determine if manufacturing and mining companies are small and average annual receipts for most other industries.

As a starting point, the SBA presumes $7.0 million in average annual receipts in the previous three years to be an appropriate size standard for the services, retail trade, construction, and other industries with receipts-based size standards. It considers 500 employees to be an appropriate size for the manufacturing, mining, and other industries with employee-based size standards and 100 employees to be appropriate for the wholesale trade industries. These three levels, referred to as anchor size standards, are used by the SBA as benchmarks or starting points when establishing its size standards. To the extent an industry displays "differing industry characteristics" necessary to enable small businesses to compete successfully with larger businesses within that industry, the SBA will consider a size standard higher, or in some cases lower, than an anchor size standard.34 Overall, about 98% of all businesses are considered small by the SBA.35 These firms represent about 30% of industry receipts.

Loan Guarantees

Overview

The SBA provides loan guarantees for small businesses that cannot obtain credit elsewhere. Its largest loan guaranty programs are the 7(a) loan guaranty program, the 504/CDC loan guaranty program, international trade and export promotion programs, and the Microloan program.

The SBA's loan guaranty programs require personal guarantees from borrowers and share the risk of default with lenders by making the guaranty less than 100%. In the event of a default, the borrower owes the amount contracted less the value of any collateral liquidated. The SBA can attempt to recover the unpaid debt through administrative offset, salary offset, or IRS tax refund offset. Most types of businesses are eligible for loan guarantees, but a few are not. A list of ineligible businesses (such as insurance companies, real estate investment firms, firms involved in financial speculation or pyramid sales, and businesses involved in illegal activities) is contained in 13 C.F.R. Section 120.110.36 With one exception, nonprofit and charitable organizations are also ineligible.37

As shown in the following tables, most of these programs charge fees to help offset program costs, including costs related to loan defaults. In most instances, the fees are set in statute. For example, for 7(a) loans with a maturity exceeding 12 months, the SBA is authorized to charge lenders an up-front guaranty fee of up to 2% for the SBA guaranteed portion of loans of $150,000 or less, up to 3% for the SBA guaranteed portion of loans exceeding $150,000 but not more than $700,000, and up to 3.5% for the SBA guaranteed portion of loans exceeding $700,000. Lenders with a 7(a) loan that has a SBA guaranteed portion in excess of $1 million can be charged an additional fee not to exceed 0.25% of the guaranteed amount in excess of $1 million.

7(a) loans are also subject to an ongoing servicing fee not to exceed 0.55% of the outstanding balance of the guaranteed portion of the loan.38 In addition, lenders are authorized to collect fees from borrowers to offset their administrative expenses.

In an effort to assist small business owners, in FY2018, the SBA is waiving

  • the up-front, one-time guaranty fee for all 7(a) loans of $125,000 or less;39
  • for veterans only, in addition to the above waiver, 50% of the up-front, one-time guaranty fee on non-SBAExpress 7(a) loans of $125,001 up to and including $350,000;40 and
  • pursuant to P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, the up-front, one-time guaranty fee on all veteran loans under the 7(a) SBAExpress program (up to and including $350,000).41

The Trump Administration indicated in its FY2019 budget request that the SBA will continue to waive the up-front, one-time guaranty fee for all veteran loans under the 7(a) SBAExpress program (up to and including $350,000) in FY2019.42

The SBA's goal is to achieve a zero subsidy rate, meaning that the appropriation of budget authority for new loan guaranties is not required.

As shown in Table 2, the SBA's fees and proceeds from loan liquidations do not always generate sufficient revenue to cover loan losses, resulting in the need for additional appropriations to account for the shortfall. However, "due to the continued improvement in performance in the loan portfolio," the SBA did not request funding for credit subsidies for the 7(a) and 504/CDC loan guaranty programs in FY2016-FY2019.43

Table 2. SBA Business Loan Subsidies, Authorized Amounts, FY2010-FY2019

($ in millions)

Fiscal Year

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

504/CDC Loan Guaranty Program

Microloan Program

Total Subsidy

2010

$80.00

$0.00

$3.00

$83.00

2011a

$79.84

$0.00

$2.99

$82.83

2012

$139.40

$67.70

$3.68

$210.78

2013b

$218.38

$97.87

$3.49

$319.74

2014

$0.00

$107.00

$4.60

$111.60

2015

$0.00

$45.00

$2.50

$47.50

2016

$0.00

$0.00

$3.34

$3.34

2017

$0.00

$0.00

$4.34

$4.34

2018

$0.00

$0.00

$3.44

$3.44

2019 (request)

$0.00

$0.00

$4.00

$4.00

Sources: SBA, Congressional Budget Justification (Summary of Credit Programs & Revolving Fund), various years, at https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-performance/performance-budget-finances/congressional-budget-justification-annual-performance-report; P.L. 111-117, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010; P.L. 112-10, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011; P.L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012; P.L. 112-175, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013; SBA, "General Statement Regarding the Implications of Sequestration;" P.L. 113-76, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014; P.L. 113-235, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; P.L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016; P.L. 115-31, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017; and P.L. 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018.

a. In FY2011, there was a 0.2% across-the-board rescission. Before the rescission, the authorized subsidy amounts were $80.0 million for the 7(a) program, $0.0 for the 504/ Certified Development Companies (CDC) program, and $3.0 million for the Microloan program.

b. In FY2013, there was a 0.2% across-the-board rescission and sequestration. Before these reductions, the authorized subsidy amounts were $225.5 million for the 7(a) program, $108.1 million for the 504/CDC program, $3.678 million for the Microloan program, and $337.278 million total.

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program44

The 7(a) loan guaranty program is named after the section of the Small Business Act that authorizes it. These are loans made by SBA lending partners (mostly banks but also some other financial institutions) and partially guaranteed by the SBA.

In FY2017, the SBA approved 62,430 7(a) loans totaling $25.4 billion.45 There were 1,978 active lending partners providing 7(a) loans.46

The 7(a) program's current guaranty rate is 85% for loans of $150,000 or less and 75% for loans greater than $150,000 (up to a maximum guaranty of $3.75 million—75% of $5 million). Although the SBA's offer to guarantee a loan provides an incentive for lenders to make the loan, lenders are not required to do so.

Lenders are permitted to charge borrowers fees to recoup specified expenses. Because the SBA's fees on loans of $125,000 or less are currently zero, lenders are prohibited from charging borrowers a guaranty fee on those loans.47

Maximum interest rates allowed on fixed-rate 7(a) loans vary based on the loan term (fewer than seven years or seven years or more) and the amount borrowed.

Maximum interest rates allowed on variable-rate 7(a) loans are pegged to either the prime rate or the SBA optional peg rate, which is a weighted average of rates that the federal government pays for loans with maturities similar to the guaranteed loan. The spread over the prime rate or SBA optional peg rate is negotiable between the borrower and the lender, but no more than 6%. The adjustment period can be no more than monthly and cannot change over the life of the loan.

Table 3 provides information on the 7(a) program's key features, including its eligible uses, maximum loan amount, loan maturity, interest rates, and guarantee fees.

Table 3. Summary of the 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program's Key Features

Key Feature

Program Summary

Use of Proceeds

Fixed assets, working capital, financing of start-ups, or to purchase an existing business; some debt payment allowed, but lender's loan exposure may not be reduced with the Express products. Lines of credit are offered with the Express programs.

Maximum Loan Amount

$5 million.

Maturity

5 years to 7 years for working capital, up to 25 years for equipment and real estate. All other loan purposes have a maximum term of 10 years.

Maximum Interest Rates

Base rate plus 2.25% for maturities of fewer than 7 years. Base rate plus 2.75% for maturities of 7 years or longer. Loans of $50,000 or less may add an additional 1% and loans under $25,000 may add an additional 2%. There is a prepayment penalty for loans with maturities of 15 years or more if prepaid during the first 3 years.

Guaranty Fees

For loans with a maturity of 12 months or less, the SBA normally charges an up-front guaranty fee of 0.25% of the guaranteed portion of the loan (0.25% in FY2018). For loans with maturities of more than 12 months, the SBA is authorized to charge an up-front guaranty fee on the guaranteed portion of the loan of: up to 2% for loans of $150,000 or less (0% for loans of $125,000 or less and 2% for loans of $125,001 to $150,000 in FY2018); up to 3% for loans of $150,001 to $700,000 (3% in FY2018); up to 3.5% for loans of more than $700,000 (3.5% in FY2018); and up to 3.75% for the guaranty portion over $1 million (3.75% in FY2018). The SBA is also allowed to charge an ongoing, annual servicing fee of up to 0.55% (0.55% in FY2018).

In FY2018, the SBA is waiving the up-front, one-time loan guaranty fee for all veteran loans under the 7(a) SBAExpress program (loans of up to $350,000) because the subsidy rate for the 7(a) program for FY2018 is zero. Veterans will also pay 50% less than the up-front guaranty fee for non-veteran owned small businesses on non-SBAExpress 7(a) loans of $125,001 up to and including $350,000.

Job Creation

No job creation requirements.

Source: Table compiled by CRS from data from the SBA.

Notes: In 2009 and 2010, Congress provided $962.5 million to temporarily eliminate some of the SBA's fees. For example, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240) provided $505 million (plus $5 million for administrative expenses) to subsidize fees in the SBA's 7(a) and 504/CDC loan guarantee programs from its date of enactment (September 27, 2010) through December 31, 2010.

Variations on the 7(a) Program

The 7(a) program has several specialized programs that offer streamlined and expedited loan procedures for particular groups of borrowers, including the SBAExpress program (for loans of $350,000 or less), the Export Express program (for loans of up to $500,000 for entering or expanding an existing export market), and the Community Advantage pilot program (for loans of $250,000 or less). The SBA also has a Small Loan Advantage program (for loans of $350,000 or less), but it is currently being used as the 7(a) program's model for processing loans of $350,000 or less and exists as a separate, specialized program in name only.

The SBAExpress program was established as a pilot program by the SBA on February 27, 1995, and made permanent through legislation, subject to reauthorization, in 2004 (P.L. 108-447, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005). The program is designed to increase the availability of credit to small businesses by permitting lenders to use their existing documentation and procedures in return for receiving a reduced SBA guarantee on loans. It provides a 50% loan guarantee on loan amounts of $350,000 or less.48 The loan proceeds can be used for the same purposes as the 7(a) program, except participant debt restructuring cannot exceed 50% of the project and may be used for revolving credit. The program's fees and loan terms are the same as the 7(a) program, except the term for a revolving line of credit cannot exceed seven years.

The Community Advantage pilot program began operations on February 15, 2011, and is limited to mission-focused lenders targeting underserved markets. Originally scheduled to cease operations on March 15, 2014, the program has been extended several times and is currently scheduled to operate through March 31, 2020.

Lenders must receive SBA approval to participate in these 7(a) specialized programs.

As mentioned previously, the SBA is not charging an up-front guaranty fee for 7(a) loans in the amount of $125,000 or less in FY2018.

Special Purpose Loan Guaranty Programs

In addition to the 7(a) loan guaranty program, the SBA has special purpose loan guaranty programs for small businesses adjusting to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to support Employee Stock Ownership Program trusts, pollution control facilities, and working capital.

Community Adjustment and Investment Program. The Community Adjustment and Investment Program (CAIP) uses federal funds to pay the fees on 7(a) and 504/CDC loans to businesses located in communities that have been adversely affected by NAFTA.

Employee Trusts. The SBA will guarantee loans to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that are used either to lend money to the employer or to purchase control from the owner. ESOPs must meet regulations established by the IRS, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Labor. These are 7(a) loans.

Pollution Control. In 1976, the SBA was provided authorization to guarantee the payment of rentals or other amounts due under qualified contracts for pollution control facilities. P.L. 100-590, the Small Business Reauthorization and Amendment Act of 1988, eliminated the revolving fund for pollution control guaranteed loans and transferred its remaining funds to the SBA's business loan and investment revolving fund. Since 1989, loans for pollution control have been guaranteed under the 7(a) loan guaranty program.

CAPLines. CAPLines are five special 7(a) loan guaranty programs designed to meet the requirements of small businesses for short-term or cyclical working capital. The maximum term is five years.

The 504/CDC Loan Guaranty Program49

The 504/CDC loan guaranty program uses Certified Development Companies (CDCs), which are private, nonprofit corporations established to contribute to economic development within their communities. Each CDC has its own geographic territory. The program provides long-term, fixed-rate loans for major fixed assets such as land, structures, machinery, and equipment. Program loans cannot be used for working capital, inventory, or repaying debt. A commercial lender provides up to 50% of the financing package, which is secured by a senior lien. The CDC's loan of up to 40% is secured by a junior lien. The SBA backs the CDC with a guaranteed debenture.50 The small business must contribute at least 10% as equity.

To participate in the program, small businesses cannot exceed $15 million in tangible net worth and cannot have average net income of more than $5 million for two full fiscal years before the date of application. Also, CDCs must intend to create or retain one job for every $65,000 of the debenture ($100,000 for small manufacturers) or meet an alternative job creation standard if they meet any one of 15 community or public policy goals.

In FY2017, the SBA approved 6,218 504/CDC loans totaling $5.0 billion.51

Table 4 summarizes the 504/CDC loan guaranty program's key features.

Table 4. Summary of the 504/CDC Loan Guaranty Program's Key Features

Key Feature

Program Summary

Use of Proceeds

Fixed assets only—no working capital.

Maximum Loan Amount

Maximum 504/CDC participation in a single project is $5 million and $5.5 million for manufacturers and specified energy-related projects; minimum is $25,000. There is no limit on the project size.

Maturity

10 years for equipment; 20 years for real estate. Unguaranteed financing may have a shorter term.

Maximum Interest Rates

Fixed rate is established when the debenture backing the loan is sold and is based on the current market rate for 5-year and 10-year Treasury bonds.

Participation Requirements

504/CDC projects generally have three main participants: a third-party lender provides 50% or more of the financing; a CDC provides up to 40% of the financing through a 504/CDC debenture, which is guaranteed 100% by the SBA; and the borrower contributes at least 10% of the financing. For good cause shown, the SBA may authorize an increase in the CDC's percentage of project costs covered up to 50%. No more than 50% of eligible costs can be from federal sources.

Guaranty Fees

The SBA is authorized to charge CDCs a one-time, up-front guaranty fee of up to 0.5% of the debenture (0% in FY2018), an annual servicing fee of up to 0.9375% of the unpaid principal balance (0.642% for regular 504/CDC loans and 0.682% for 504/CDC debt refinance loans in FY2018), a funding fee (not to exceed 0.25% of the debenture), an annual development company fee (0.125% of the debenture's outstanding principal balance), and a one-time participation fee (0.5% of the senior mortgage loan if in a senior lien position to the SBA and the loan was approved after September 30, 1996). In addition, CDCs are allowed to charge borrowers a processing (or packaging) fee of up to 1.5% of the net debenture proceeds and a closing fee, servicing fee, late fee, assumption fee, Central Servicing Agent (CSA) fee, other agent fees, and an underwriters' fee.

Job Creation Requirements

Must intend to create or retain one job for every $65,000 of the debenture ($100,000 for small manufacturers) or meet an alternative job creation standard if it meets any one of 15 community or public policy goals.

Source: Table compiled by CRS from data from the SBA.

Notes: The maximum loan amount is the total financial package, including the commercial loan and the CDC loan. It does not include the owner's minimum 10% equity contribution. It assumes the CDC loan is 40% of the total package.

International Trade and Export Promotion Programs52

Although any of SBA's loan guaranty programs can be used by firms looking to begin exporting or expanding their current exporting operations, the SBA has three loan programs that specifically focus on trade and export promotion:

  • 1. Export Express loan program provides working capital or fixed asset financing for firms that will begin or expand exporting. It offers a 90% guaranty on loans of $350,000 or less and a 75% guaranty on loans of $350,001 to $500,000.
  • 2. Export Working Capital loan program provides financing to support export orders or the export transaction cycle, from purchase order to final payment. It offers a 90% guaranty of loans up to $5 million.
  • 3. International Trade loan program provides long-term financing to support firms that are expanding because of growing export sales or have been adversely affected by imports and need to modernize to meet foreign competition. It offers a 90% guaranty on loans up to $5 million.53

In many ways, the SBA's trade and export promotion loan programs share similar characteristics with other SBA loan guaranty programs. For example, the Export Express program resembles the SBAExpress program. The SBAExpress program shares several characteristics with the standard 7(a) loan guarantee program except that the SBAExpress program has an expedited approval process, a lower maximum loan amount, and a smaller percentage of the loan guaranteed. Similarly, the Export Express program shares several of the characteristics of the standard International Trade loan program, such as an expedited approval process in exchange for a lower maximum loan amount ($500,000 compared with $5 million) and a lower percentage of guaranty.

In addition, the SBA administers grants through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which are awarded to states to execute export programs that assist small business concerns (such as a trade show exhibition, training workshops, or a foreign trade mission). Initially, the STEP program was authorized for three years and appropriated $30 million annually in FY2011 and FY2012. Congress approved $8 million in appropriations for STEP in FY2014, $17.4 million in FY2015, and $18 million in FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018.54

The Trump Administration recommended that STEP receive $10 million in FY2018 and $10 million in FY2019.55

The Microloan Program56

The Microloan program provides direct loans to qualified nonprofit intermediary Microloan lenders that, in turn, provide "microloans" of up to $50,000 to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers. Microloan lenders also provide marketing, management, and technical assistance to Microloan borrowers and potential borrowers. The program was authorized in 1991 as a five-year demonstration project and became operational in 1992. It was made permanent, subject to reauthorization, by P.L. 105-135, the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. Although the program is open to all small businesses, it targets new and early stage businesses in underserved markets, including borrowers with little to no credit history, low-income borrowers, and women and minority entrepreneurs in both rural and urban areas who generally do not qualify for conventional loans or other, larger SBA guaranteed loans.

In FY2017, the SBA provided Microloan lenders $44.4 million in direct loans and 4,992 small businesses received a Microloan, totaling $69.3 million.57

Table 5 summarizes the Microloan program's key features.

Table 5. Summary of the Microloan Program's Key Features

Key Feature

Program Summary

Use of proceeds

Working capital and acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Loans cannot be made to acquire land or property.

Maximum Loan Amount

$50,000.

Maturity

Up to six years.

Maximum Interest Rates

The SBA charges intermediaries an interest rate that is based on the five-year Treasury rate, adjusted to the nearest one-eighth percent (called the Base Rate), less 1.25% if the intermediary maintains a historic portfolio of Microloans averaging more than $10,000 and less 2.0% if the intermediary maintains a historic portfolio of Microloans averaging $10,000 or less. The Base Rate, after adjustment, is called the Intermediary's Cost of Funds. The Intermediary's Cost of Funds is initially calculated one year from the date of the note and is reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary (called recasting). The interest rate cannot be less than zero.

On loans of more than $10,000, the maximum interest rate that can be charged to the borrower is the interest rate charged by the SBA on the loan to the intermediary, plus 7.75%. On loans of $10,000 or less, the maximum interest rate that can be charged to the borrower is the interest charged by the SBA on the loan to the intermediary, plus 8.5%. Rates are negotiated between the borrower and the intermediary and typically range from 7% to 9%.

Guaranty Fees

The SBA does not charge intermediaries up-front or ongoing service fees under the Microloan program.

Job Creation Requirements

No job creation requirements.

Source: Table compiled by CRS from data from the SBA.

Contracting Programs58

Several SBA programs assist small businesses in obtaining and performing federal contracts and subcontracts. These include various prime contracting programs; subcontracting programs; and other assistance (e.g., contracting technical training assistance, the federal goaling program, federal Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, and the Surety Bond Guarantee program).

Prime Contracting Programs

Several contracting programs allow small businesses to compete only with similar firms for government contracts or receive sole-source awards in circumstances in which such awards could not be made to other firms. These programs, which give small businesses a chance to win government contracts without having to compete against larger and more experienced companies, include the following:

  • 8(a) Program.59 The 8(a) Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program (named for the section of the Small Business Act from which it derives its authority) is for businesses owned by persons who are socially and economically disadvantaged.60 In addition, an individual's net worth, excluding ownership interest in the 8(a) firm and equity in his or her primary personal residence, must be less than $250,000 at the time of application to the 8(a) Program, and less than $750,000 thereafter. A firm certified by the SBA as an 8(a) firm is eligible for set-aside and sole-source contracts. The SBA also provides technical assistance and training to 8(a) firms. Firms may participate in the 8(a) Program for no more than nine years.

    In FY2017, the federal government awarded $27.2 billion to 8(a) firms. About $16.4 billion of that amount was awarded with an 8(a) preference ($8 billion through an 8(a) set-aside and $8.4 billion through an 8(a) sole-source award). About $4.8 billion was awarded to an 8(a) firm in open competition with other firms. The remaining $6 billion was awarded with another small business preference (e.g., set aside and sole source awards for small business generally and for HUBZone firms, women-owned small businesses, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses).61
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program.62 This program assists small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) through set-asides, sole-source awards, and price evaluation preferences in full and open competitions. The determination of whether an area is a HUBZone is based upon criteria specified in 13 C.F.R. Section 126.103. To be certified as a HUBZone small business, at least 35% of the small business's employees must generally reside in a HUBZone.

    In FY2017, the federal government awarded $7.53 billion to HUBZone-certified small businesses. About $1.90 billion of that amount was awarded with a HUBZone preference ($1.49 billion through a HUBZone set-aside, $65.3 million through a HUBZone sole-source award, and $342.5 million through a HUBZone price-evaluation preference). About $1.53 billion was awarded to HUBZone-certified small businesses in open competition with other firms. The remaining $4.10 billion was awarded with another small business preference (e.g., set aside and sole source awards for small business generally and for 8(a), women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses).63
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program. This program assists service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses through set-asides and sole-source awards. For purposes of this program, veterans and service-related disabilities are defined as they are under the statutes governing veterans affairs.64

    In FY2017, the federal government awarded $19.43 billion to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. About $7.1 billion of that amount was awarded with a service-disabled veteran-owned small business preference ($204.4 million through a service-disabled veteran-owned small business set-aside and $6.88 billion through a service-disabled veteran-owned small business sole-source award). About $5.3 billion of that amount was awarded to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business in open competition with other firms. The remaining $7 billion was awarded with another small business preference (e.g., set aside and sole source awards for small business generally and for HUBZone firms, 8(a) firms, and women-owned small businesses).65
  • Women-Owned Small Business Program. Under this program, contracts may be set aside for economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses in industries in which women are underrepresented and women-owned small businesses in industries in which women are substantially underrepresented. Also, federal agencies may award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses so long as the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price, and the anticipated value of the contract is below $4 million ($6.5 million for manufacturing contracts).66

    In FY2017, the federal government awarded $15.6 billion to women owned small businesses. About $660.8 million of that amount was awarded with a women owned small business preference ($609.2 million through a women owned small business set-aside and $51.6 million through a women owned small business sole-source award). About $5.0 billion of that amount was awarded to a women owned small business in open competition with other firms. The remaining $9.9 billion was awarded with another small business preference (e.g., set aside and sole source awards for small business generally and for HUBZone firms, 8(a) firms, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses).67
  • Other small businesses. Agencies may also set aside contracts or make sole-source awards to small businesses not participating in any other program under certain conditions.

Subcontracting Programs for Small Disadvantaged Businesses

Other federal programs promote subcontracting with small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs). SDBs include 8(a) participants and other small businesses that are at least 51% unconditionally owned and controlled by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals or groups. Individuals owning and controlling non-8(a) SDBs may have net worth of up to $750,000 (excluding ownership interests in the SDB firm and equity in their primary personal residence). Otherwise, however, SDBs must generally satisfy the same eligibility requirements as 8(a) firms, although they do not apply to the SBA to be designated SDBs in the same way that 8(a) firms do.

Federal agencies must negotiate "subcontracting plans" with the apparently successful bidder or offeror on eligible prime contracts prior to awarding the contract. Subcontracting plans set goals for the percentage of subcontract dollars to be awarded to SDBs, among others, and describe efforts that will be made to ensure that SDBs "have an equitable opportunity to compete for subcontracts." Federal agencies may also consider the extent of subcontracting with SDBs in determining to whom to award a contract or give contractors "monetary incentives" to subcontract with SDBs.

As of March 27, 2018, the SBA's Dynamic Small Business Search database included 3,340 SBA-certified SDBs and 127,159 self-certified SDBs.68

The 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program

The SBA's 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program provides "a wide variety of management and technical assistance to eligible individuals or concerns to meet their specific needs, including: (a) counseling and training in the areas of financing, management, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, and operation of small business concerns; and (b) the identification and development of new business opportunities."69 Eligible individuals and businesses include "8(a) certified firms, small disadvantaged businesses, businesses operating in areas of high unemployment, or low income or firms owned by low income individuals."70

In FY2017, the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance program assisted 4,100 small businesses.71

Surety Bond Guarantee Program72

The SBA's Surety Bond Guarantee program is designed to increase small businesses' access to federal, state, and local government contracting, as well as private-sector contracts, by guaranteeing bid, performance, and payment bonds for small businesses that cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.73 The program guarantees individual contracts of up to $6.5 million and up to $10 million if a federal contracting officer certifies that such a guarantee is necessary. The SBA's guarantee ranges from not to exceed 80% to not to exceed 90% of the surety's loss if a default occurs.74 In FY2017, the SBA guaranteed 10,397 bid and final surety bonds with a total contract value of more than $6.3 billion.75

A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor, and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor's responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed. The surety bond reduces the risk associated with contracting.76

Surety bonds are viewed as a means to encourage project owners to contract with small businesses that may not have the credit history or prior experience of larger businesses and are considered to be at greater risk of failing to comply with the contract's terms and conditions.77

Goaling Program

Since 1978, federal agency heads have been required to establish federal procurement contracting goals, in consultation with the SBA, "that realistically reflect the potential of small business concerns" to participate in federal procurement. Each agency is required, at the conclusion of each fiscal year, to report its progress in meeting these goals to the SBA.78

In 1988, Congress authorized the President to annually establish government-wide minimum participation goals for procurement contracts awarded to small businesses and small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Congress required the government-wide minimum participation goal for small businesses to be "not less than 20% of the total value of all prime contract awards for each fiscal year" and "not less than 5% of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year" for small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.79

Each federal agency was also directed to "have an annual goal that presents, for that agency, the maximum practicable opportunity for small business concerns and small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to participate in the performance of contracts let by such agency."80 The SBA was required to report to the President annually on the attainment of these goals and to include this information in an annual report to Congress.81 The SBA negotiates the goals with each federal agency and establishes a "small business eligible" baseline for evaluating the agency's performance.

The small business eligible baseline excludes certain contracts that the SBA has determined do not realistically reflect the potential for small business participation in federal procurement (such as contracts awarded to mandatory and directed sources), contracts awarded and performed overseas, contracts funded predominantly from agency-generated sources, contracts not covered by Federal Acquisition Regulations, and contracts not reported in the Federal Procurement Data System (such as contracts or government procurement card purchases valued less than $3,000).82 These exclusions typically account for 18% to 20% of all federal prime contracts each year.

The SBA then evaluates the agencies' performance against their negotiated goals annually, using data from the Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, managed by the U.S. General Services Administration, to generate the small business eligible baseline. This information is compiled into the official Small Business Goaling Report, which the SBA releases annually.

Over the years, federal government-wide procurement contracting goals have been established for small businesses generally (P.L. 100-656, the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988, and P.L. 105-135, the HUBZone Act of 1997—Title VI of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997), small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (P.L. 100-656, the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988), women (P.L. 103-355, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994), small businesses located within a HUBZone (P.L. 105-135, the HUBZone Act of 1997—Title VI of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997), and small businesses owned and controlled by a service disabled veteran (P.L. 106-50, the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999).

The current federal small business contracting goals are

  • at least 23% of the total value of all small business eligible prime contract awards to small businesses for each fiscal year,
  • 5% of the total value of all small business eligible prime contract awards and subcontract awards to small disadvantaged businesses for each fiscal year,
  • 5% of the total value of all small business eligible prime contract awards and subcontract awards to women-owned small businesses,
  • 3% of the total value of all small business eligible prime contract awards and subcontract awards to HUBZone small businesses, and
  • 3% of the total value of all small business eligible prime contract awards and subcontract awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.83

Although there are no punitive consequences for not meeting the small business procurement goals, the SBA's Small Business Goaling Report is distributed widely, receives media attention, and serves to heighten public awareness of the issue of small business contracting. For example, agency performance as reported in the SBA's Small Business Goaling Report is often cited by Members during their questioning of federal agency witnesses during congressional hearings.

As shown in Table 6, the FY2016 Small Business Goaling Report, using data in the Federal Procurement Data System, indicates that federal agencies met the federal contracting goal for small businesses generally, small disadvantaged businesses, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in FY2016.

Federal agencies awarded 24.34% of the value of their small business eligible contracts ($410.7 billion) to small businesses ($100.0 billion), 9.53% to small disadvantaged businesses ($39.1 billion), 4.79% to women-owned small businesses ($19.7 billion), 1.67% to HUBZone small businesses ($6.9 billion), and 3.98% to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses ($16.3 billion).84

The percentage of total reported federal contracts (without exclusions) awarded to those small businesses in FY2016 is also provided in the table for comparative purposes.

Table 6. Federal Contracting Goals and Percentage of FY2016 Federal Contract Dollars Awarded to Small Businesses, by Type

Business Type

Federal Goal

Percentage of FY2016 Federal Contracts

 

 

Small Business Eligible

All Reported Contracts

Small Businesses

23.0%

24.34%

22.27%

Small Disadvantaged Businesses

5.0%

9.53%

8.61%

Women-Owned Small Businesses

5.0%

4.79%

4.23%

HUBZone Small Businesses

3.0%

1.67%

1.50%

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

3.0%

3.98%

3.73%

Sources: SBA, "Statutory Guidelines," at https://www.sba.gov/content/statutory-guidelines-0 (federal goals); U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, "Small Business Goaling Report: Fiscal Year 2016," at https://www.fpds.gov/downloads/top_requests/FPDSNG_SB_Goaling_FY_2016.pdf; and GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng/ (contract dollars).

Notes: The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) is a dynamic system with records updated daily. The Small Business Goaling Report for FY2016 reports that small business eligible contracts, as of May 16, 2017, totaled $410.7 billion and that $99.9 billion was awarded to small businesses, $39.1 billion to small disadvantaged businesses, $19.7 billion to women-owned small businesses, $6.8 billion to SBA-certified HUBZone small businesses, and $16.3 billion to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The Small Business Goaling Report for FY2016 does not indicate the total amount of federal contracts reported in the FPDS on May 16, 2017. The percentages provided in the column for all reported contracts in FY2016 were calculated using FPDS data as reported on May 24, 2017: $473.7 billion in total contracts, $105.5 billion awarded to small businesses, $40.8 billion to small disadvantaged businesses, $20.3 billion to women-owned small businesses, $7.1 billion to HUBZone small businesses, and $17.7 billion to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Government agencies with procurement authority have an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to advocate within the agency for small businesses, as well as assist small businesses in their dealings with federal agencies (e.g., obtaining payment).

Regional and District Offices

As mentioned previously, the SBA provides funding to third parties, such as SBDCs, to provide management and training services to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. The SBA also provides management, training, and outreach services to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs through its 68 district offices. These offices are overseen by the SBA Office of Field Operations and 10 regional offices.

SBA district offices conduct more than 20,000 outreach events annually with stakeholders and resource partners that include "lender training, government contracting, marketing events in emerging areas, and events targeted to high-growth entrepreneurial markets, such as exporting."85 SBA district offices focus "on core SBA programs concerning contracting, capital, technical assistance, and exporting."86 They also perform annual program eligibility and compliance reviews on 100% of the 8(a) business development firms in the SBA's portfolio and each year conduct on-site examinations of about 10% of all HUBZone certified firms (505 in FY2017) to validate compliance with the HUBZone program's geographic requirement for principal offices.87

Office of Inspector General88

The Office of Inspector General's (OIG's) mission is "to improve SBA management and effectiveness, and to detect and deter fraud in the Agency's programs."89 It serves as "an independent and objective oversight office created within the SBA by the Inspector General Act of 1978 [P.L. 95-452], as amended."90 The Inspector General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, directs the office. The Inspector General Act provides the OIG with the following responsibilities:

  • "promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the management of SBA programs and supporting operations;
  • conduct and supervise audits, investigations, and reviews relating to the SBA's programs and support operations;
  • detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse;
  • review existing and proposed legislation and regulations and make appropriate recommendations;
  • maintain effective working relationships with other Federal, State and local governmental agencies, and nongovernmental entities, regarding the mandated duties of the Inspector General;
  • keep the SBA Administrator and Congress informed of serious problems and recommend corrective actions and implementation measures;
  • comply with the audit standards of the Comptroller General;
  • avoid duplication of Government Accountability Office (GAO) activities; and
  • report violations of Federal criminal law to the Attorney General."91

Capital Investment Programs

The SBA has several programs to improve small business access to capital markets, including the Small Business Investment Company program, the New Market Venture Capital Program, two special high technology contracting programs (the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs), and the growth accelerators initiative.

The Small Business Investment Company Program92

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program enhances small business access to venture capital by stimulating and supplementing "the flow of private equity capital and long-term loan funds which small-business concerns need for the sound financing of their business operations and for their growth, expansion, and modernization, and which are not available in adequate supply."93

The SBA works with 313 privately owned and managed SBICs licensed by the SBA to provide financing to small businesses with private capital the SBIC has raised and with funds the SBIC borrows at favorable rates because the SBA guarantees the debenture (loan obligation).

SBICs provide equity capital to small businesses in various ways, including by

  • purchasing small business equity securities (e.g., stock, stock options, warrants, limited partnership interests, membership interests in a limited liability company, or joint venture interests);94
  • making loans to small businesses, either independently or in cooperation with other private or public lenders, that have a maturity of no more than 20 years;95
  • purchasing debt securities from small businesses, which may be convertible into, or have rights to purchase, equity in the small business;96 and
  • subject to limitations, providing small businesses a guarantee of their monetary obligations to creditors not associated with the SBIC.97

The SBIC program currently has invested or committed about $29.0 billion in small businesses, with the SBA's share of capital at risk about $14.0 billion. In FY2017, the SBA committed to guarantee $1.96 billion in SBIC small business investments. SBICs invested another $3.77 billion from private capital for a total of $5.73 billion in financing for 1,077 small businesses.98

Table 7. Summary of Small Business Investment Company Program's Key Features

Key Feature

Program Summary

Use of Proceeds

To purchase small business equity securities, make loans to small businesses, purchase debt securities from small businesses, and provide, subject to limitations, small businesses a guarantee of their monetary obligations to creditors not associated with the SBIC.

Maximum Leverage Amount

A licensed SBIC in good standing with a demonstrated need for funds may apply to the SBA for financial assistance (called leverage) of up to 300% of its private capital. However, most SBICs are approved for a maximum of 200% of their private capital, and no fund management team may exceed the allowable maximum amount of leverage, currently $150 million per SBIC and $350 million for two or more licenses under common control. SBICs licensed on or after October 1, 2009, may elect to have a maximum leverage amount of $175 million per SBIC if they have invested at least 50% of their financings in low-income geographic areas and certify that at least 50% of their future investments will be in low-income geographic areas.

Maturity

SBA-guaranteed debenture participation certificates can have a term of up to 15 years, although currently only one outstanding SBA-guaranteed debenture participation certificate has a term exceeding 10 years and all recent public offerings have specified a term of 10 years. SBA-guaranteed debentures provide for semiannual interest payments and a lump sum principal payment to investors at maturity. SBICs are allowed to prepay SBA-guaranteed debentures without penalty. However, a SBA-guaranteed debenture must be prepaid in whole and not in part and can only be prepaid on a semiannual payment date. Also, low-to-moderate income area (LMI) debentures are available in two maturities, for 5 years and 10 years (plus the stub period).

Maximum Interest Rates

The debenture's coupon (interest) rate is determined by market conditions and the interest rate of 10-year Treasury securities at the time of the sale.

Guaranty Fees

The SBA requires the SBIC to pay a 3% origination fee for each debenture issued (1% at commitment and 2% at draw), an annual fee on the leverage drawn, which is fixed at the time of the leverage commitment, and other administrative and underwriting fees, which are adjusted annually.

Job Creation Requirements

No job creation requirements.

Source: Table compiled by CRS from data from the SBA.

New Market Venture Capital Program99

The New Market Venture Capital (NMVC) program encourages equity investments in small businesses in low-income areas that meet specific statistical criteria established by regulation. The program operates through public-private partnerships between the SBA and newly formed NMVC investment companies and existing Specialized Small Business Investment Companies (SSBICs) that operate under the Small Business Investment Company program.

The NMVC program's objective is to serve the unmet equity needs of local entrepreneurs in low-income areas by providing developmental venture capital investments and technical assistance, helping to create quality employment opportunities for low-income area residents, and building wealth within those areas.

The SBA's role is essentially the same as with the SBIC program. The SBA selects participants for the NMVC program, provides funding for their investments and operational assistance activities, and regulates their operations to ensure public policy objectives are being met. The SBA requires the companies to provide regular performance reports and have annual financial examinations by the SBA.

The NMVC program was appropriated $21.952 million in FY2001 to support up to $150 million in SBA-guaranteed debentures and $30 million to fund operational assistance grants for FY2001 through FY2006. The funds were provided in a lump sum in FY2001 and were to remain available until expended. In 2003, the unobligated balances of $10.5 million for the NMVC debenture subsidies and $13.75 million for operational assistance grants were rescinded. The program continues to operate, with the number and amount of financing declining in recent years as the program's initial investments expire and NMVC companies engage only in additional follow-on financings with the small businesses in their portfolios.

Small Business Innovation Research Program100

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is designed to increase the participation of small, high technology firms in federal research and development (R&D) endeavors, provide additional opportunities for the involvement of minority and disadvantaged individuals in the R&D process, and result in the expanded commercialization of the results of federally funded R&D.101 Current law requires that every federal department with an R&D budget of $100 million or more establish and operate a SBIR program. A set percentage of that agency's applicable extramural R&D budget—originally set at not less than 0.2% in FY1983 and currently not less than 3.2% in FY2018—is to be used to support mission-related work in small businesses.102

Agency SBIR efforts involve a three-phase process. During Phase I, awards of up to $150,000 for six months are made to evaluate a concept's scientific or technical merit and feasibility. The project must be of interest to and coincide with the mission of the supporting organization. Projects that demonstrate potential after the initial endeavor may compete for Phase II awards of up to $1 million, lasting one to two years. Phase II awards are for the performance of the principal R&D by the small business. Phase III funding, directed at the commercialization of the product or process, is expected to be generated in the private sector. Federal dollars may be used if the government perceives that the final technology or technique will meet public needs.

Eight departments and three other federal agencies currently have SBIR programs, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Each agency's SBIR activity reflects that organization's management style. Individual departments select R&D interests, administer program operations, and control financial support. Funding can be disbursed in the form of contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements. Separate agency solicitations are issued at established times.

The SBA is responsible for establishing the broad policy and guidelines under which individual departments operate their SBIR programs. The SBA monitors and reports to Congress on the conduct of the separate departmental activities.

Small Business Technology Transfer Program

The Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) provides funding for research proposals that are developed and executed cooperatively between a small firm and a scientist in a nonprofit research organization and meet the mission requirements of the federal funding agency.103 Up to $150,000 in Phase I financing is available for approximately one year to fund the exploration of the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of an idea or technology. Phase II awards of up to $1 million may be made for two years, during which time the developer performs R&D work and begins to consider commercial potential. Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II. Phase III funding, directed at the commercialization of the product or process, is expected to be generated in the private sector. The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-STTR federal agency.

The STTR program is funded by a set-aside, initially set at not less than 0.05% in FY1994 and now at not less than 0.45%, of the extramural R&D budget of departments that spend more than $1 billion per year on this effort.104 The Departments of Energy, Defense, and Health and Human Services, participate in the STTR program, as do NASA and NSF.

The SBA is responsible for establishing the broad policy and guidelines under which individual departments operate their STTR programs. The SBA monitors and reports to Congress on the conduct of the separate departmental activities.

Growth Accelerator Initiative

The SBA describes growth accelerators as "organizations that help entrepreneurs start and scale their businesses."105 Growth accelerators are typically run by experienced entrepreneurs and help small businesses access seed capital and mentors. The SBA claims that growth accelerators "help accelerate a startup company's path towards success with targeted advice on revenue growth, job, and sourcing outside funding."106

The SBA's Growth Accelerator Initiative began in FY2014 when Congress recommended in its appropriations report that the initiative be provided $2.5 million. Congress subsequently recommended that it receive $4 million in FY2015 and $1 million in FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018. The Growth Accelerator Initiative provides $50,000 matching grants each year to universities and private sector accelerators "to support the development of accelerators and their support of startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (i.e., venture capital and other investors)."107

Office of Advocacy108

The SBA's Office of Advocacy is "an independent voice for small business within the federal government."109 The Chief Counsel for Advocacy, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, directs the office. The Office of Advocacy's mission is to "encourage policies that support the development and growth of American small businesses" by

  • intervening early in federal agencies' regulatory development process on proposals that affect small businesses and providing Regulatory Flexibility Act compliance training to federal agency policymakers and regulatory development officials;
  • producing research to inform policymakers and other stakeholders on the impact of federal regulatory burdens on small businesses, to document the vital role of small businesses in the economy, and to explore and explain the wide variety of issues of concern to the small business community; and
  • fostering a two-way communication between federal agencies and the small business community.110

Executive Direction Programs

The SBA's executive direction programs consist of the National Women's Business Council, the Office of Ombudsman, and Faith-Based Initiatives.

The National Women's Business Council

The National Women's Business Council is a bipartisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the SBA on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council's mission "is to promote bold initiatives, policies, and programs designed to support women's business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector marketplaces—from start-up to success to significance."111

Office of Ombudsman112

The National Ombudsman's mission "is to assist small businesses when they experience excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action by a federal agency."113 The Office of Ombudsman works with federal agencies that have regulatory authority over small businesses to provide a means for entrepreneurs to comment about enforcement activities and encourage agencies to address those concerns promptly. It also receives comments from small businesses about unfair federal compliance or enforcement activities and refers those comments to the Inspector General of the affected agency in appropriate circumstances. In addition, the National Ombudsman files an annual report with Congress and affected federal agencies that rates federal agencies based on substantiated comments received from small business owners. Affected agencies are provided an opportunity to comment on the draft version of the annual report to Congress before it is submitted.114

Faith-Based Initiatives

The SBA sponsors several faith-based initiatives For example, the SBA, in cooperation with the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), created the Business Smart Toolkit, "a ready-to-use workshop toolkit that equips faith-based and community organizations to help new and aspiring entrepreneurs launch and build businesses that are credit ready."115

Legislative Activity

During the 111th Congress

  • P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided the SBA an additional $730 million in temporary funding, including $375 million to subsidize fees for the SBA's 7(a) and 504/CDC loan guaranty programs and to increase the 7(a) program's maximum loan guaranty percentage to 90% for all regular 7(a) loans through September 30, 2010, or when appropriated funding for the subsidies and loan modification was exhausted.
  • P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) to encourage community banks with less than $10 billion in assets to increase their lending to small businesses (about $4.0 billion was issued) and a $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative to provide funding to participating states with small business capital access programs. The act also provided the SBA an additional $697.5 million; including $510 million to continue the SBA's fee subsidies and the 7(a) program's 90% maximum loan guaranty percentage through December 31, 2010, and about $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses.116
  • P.L. 111-322, the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011, authorized the SBA to continue its fee subsidies and the 7(a) program's 90% maximum loan guaranty percentage through March 4, 2011, or until available funding was exhausted, which occurred on January 3, 2011.

During the 112th Congress, the SBA's statutory authorization expired (on July 31, 2011).117 Since then, the SBA has been operating under authority provided by annual appropriations acts. Prior to July 31, 2011, the SBA's authorization had been temporarily extended 15 times since 2006.

P.L. 112-239, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, increased the SBA's surety bond limit from $2 million to $6.5 million (and up to $10 million if a federal contracting officer certifies that such a guarantee is necessary); required the SBA to oversee and establish standards for most federal mentor-protégé programs and establish a mentor-protégé program for all small business concerns; required the SBA's Chief Counsel for Advocacy to enter into a contract with an appropriate entity to conduct an independent assessment of the small business procurement goals, including an assessment of which contracts should be subject to the goals; and addressed the SBA's recent practice of combining size standards within industrial groups as a means to reduce the complexity of its size standards by requiring the SBA to make available a justification when establishing or approving a size standard that the size standard is appropriate for each individual industry classification.

During the 113th Congress, P.L. 113-76, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, increased the SBA's SBIC program's annual authorization amount to $4 billion from $3 billion.

During the 114th Congress

  • P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, authorized and made permanent the SBA's administrative decision to waive the SBAExpress loan program's one time, up-front loan guaranty fee for veterans (and their spouse). The act also increased the 7(a) loan program's FY2015 authorization limit from $18.75 billion to $23.5 billion (later increased to $26.5 billion).
  • P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), includes several provisions designed to assist individuals and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and, among other things, authorizes the SBA to provide up to two years of additional financial assistance, on a competitive basis, to SBDCs, WBCs, SCORE, or any proposed consortium of such individuals or entities to assist small businesses located in a presidentially declared major disaster area; authorizes SBDCs to provide assistance to small businesses outside the SBDC's state, without regard to geographical proximity to the SBDC, if the small business is in a presidentially declared major disaster area; and temporarily increases, for three years, the minimum disaster loan amount for which the SBA may require collateral, from $14,000 to $25,000 (or, as under existing law, any higher amount the SBA determines appropriate in the event of a disaster).
  • P.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, includes a provision that expands the definition of a Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) military base closure area under the HUBZone program to include the lands within the external boundaries of the closed base and the census tract or nonmetropolitan county in which the lands of the closed base are wholly contained, intersect it, or are contiguous to it. This change is designed to make it easier for businesses located in those areas to meet the HUBZone program's requirement that at least 35% of its employees reside in a HUBZone area. The act also extends BRAC base closure area HUBZone eligibility from five years to not less than eight years, provides HUBZone eligibility to qualified disaster areas, and adds Native Hawaiian Organizations to the list of HUBZone eligible small business concerns.118 Starting one year from enactment (effective November 25, 2016), the act also adds requirements concerning the pledge of assets by individual sureties participating in the SBA's Surety Bond Guarantee Program and increases the guaranty rate from not less than 70% to not less than 90% for preferred sureties participating in that program.
  • P.L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, expands the projects eligible for refinancing under the 504/CDC loan guaranty program in any fiscal year in which the refinancing program and the 504/CDC program as a whole do not have credit subsidy costs, generally limits refinancing under this provision to no more than 50% of the dollars loaned under the 504/CDC program during the previous fiscal year, and increases the SBIC program's family of funds limit (the amount of outstanding leverage allowed for two or more SBIC licenses under common control) to $350 million from $225 million. The act also provided the 7(a) loan program a FY2016 authorization limit of $26.5 billion.
  • P.L. 114-125, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, renamed the "State Trade and Export Promotion" grant initiative to the "State Trade Expansion Program." P.L. 114-125 also reformed some of the program's procedures and provided $30 million in annual authorization for STEP grants from FY2016 through FY2020.119 In terms of program administration, P.L. 114-125 allows the SBA's Associate Administrator (AA) for International Trade to give priority to STEP proposals from states that have a relatively small share of small businesses that export or would assist rural, women-owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses and small business concerns.
  • P.L. 114-328, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, authorizes the SBA to establish different size standards for various types of agricultural enterprises (previously statutorily set at not more than $750,000 in annual receipts), standardizes definitions used by the SBA and the Department of Veterans Affairs concerning service-disabled veteran owned small businesses, requires the SBA to track companies that outgrow or no longer qualify for SBA assistance due to the receipt of a federal contract or being purchased by another entity after an initial federal contract is awarded, and, among other provisions, clarifies the duties of the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Utilization within federal agencies.

During the 115th Congress

  • P.L. 115-31, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, increased the 7(a) program's authorization limit to $27.5 billion in FY2017 from $26.5 billion in FY2016.
  • P.L. 115-56, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017, provided the SBA an additional $450 million for disaster assistance.
  • P.L. 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, provided the SBA an additional $1.652 billion for disaster assistance and $7.0 million to the SBA's OIG for disaster assistance oversight.
  • P.L. 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, increased the 7(a) program's authorization limit to $29.0 billion in FY2018. The act also relaxed requirements on Microloan intermediaries that prohibited them from spending more than 25% of their technical assistance grant funds on prospective borrowers and more than 25% of those grant funds on contracts with third-parties to provide that technical assistance by increasing those percentages to 50%.
  • H.R. 1774, the Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2017, would require the SBA to only use authorized entrepreneurial development programs to deliver specified entrepreneurial education services; add data collection and reporting requirements for SBDCs; authorize to be appropriated $21.75 million for WBCs for each of FY2018-FY2021 (WBCs were appropriated $18.0 million in FY2018); increase the WBC annual grant award from not more than $150,000 to not more than $185,000 (adjusted annually to reflect inflation); authorize the award of an additional $65,000 to WBCs under specified circumstances; authorize the SBA to waive, in whole or in part, the WBC nonfederal matching requirement for up to two consecutive fiscal years under specified circumstances; modify SCORE program requirements; and add language concerning the provision and reporting of online counseling by SCORE. Similar legislation was introduced during the 114th Congress (H.R. 207 and S. 999).
  • H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act of 2017, and its Senate companion bill (S. 526), would, as amended in committee, increase the Microloan technical assistance program's aggregate loan limit for intermediaries after their first year of participation in the program from $5 million to $6 million and (as enacted under P.L. 115-141) relax requirements on Microloan intermediaries that prohibited them from spending more than 25% of their technical assistance grant funds on prospective borrowers and more than 25% of those grant funds on contracts with third-parties to provide that technical assistance by increasing those percentages to 50%.

Appropriations120

The SBA's received an appropriation of $928.975 million for FY2014, $887.604 million for FY2015, $871.042 million for FY2016, $1.337 billion for FY2017, and $2.360 billion for FY2018.

As shown in Table 8, the SBA's FY2018 appropriation of $2.360 billion includes $268.500 million for salaries and expenses, $247.100 million for entrepreneurial development and noncredit programs, $152.782 million for business loan administration, $3.438 million for business loan credit subsidies (for the Microloan program), $26.900 million for Office of Inspector General (including $7 million in disaster supplemental appropriations), $9.120 million for the Office of Advocacy, and $1.652 billion in disaster assistance supplemental appropriations.121

The Trump Administration's FY2019 budget recommends that the SBA receive $834.078 million in FY2019: $265.000 million for salaries and expenses, $192.450 million for entrepreneurial development and noncredit programs, $155.150 million for business loan administration, $4 million for business loan credit subsidies (for the Microloan program), $21.900 million for Office of Inspector General, $9.120 million for the Office of Advocacy, and $186.458 million for disaster assistance.122

Table 8. SBA Appropriations, FY2015-FY2019

($ in millions)

Program Account

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019 (request)

Salaries and Expenses

$257.000

$268.000

$269.500

$268.500

$265.000

Entrepreneurial Development

$220.000

$231.100

$245.100

$247.100

$192.450

Business Loan Administration

$147.726

$152.726

$152.726

$152.782

$155.150

Business Loan Credit Subsidy

$47.500

$3.338

$4.338

$3.438

$4.000

Office of Inspector General

$19.400

$19.900

$19.900

$26.900

$21.900

Office of Advocacy

$9.120

$9.120

$9.220

$9.120

$9.120

Disaster Assistance

$186.858

$186.858

$185.977

$0.000

$186.458

Disaster Assistance Supplemental

$0.0

$0.0

$450.000

$1,652.000

$0.0

Total

$887.604

$871.042

$1,336.761

$2,359.840

$834.078

Sources: P.L. 113-76, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, P.L. 113-235, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; P.L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016; P.L. 115-31, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017; P.L. 115-56, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017; P.L. 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018; and P.L. 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018.

Notes: The sum of the amounts appropriated for each of the program accounts may not equal the total amount appropriated for that fiscal year due to rounding. P.L. 115-123 provided the Office of the Inspector General $7 million in supplemental funding for FY2018 for disaster assistance oversight.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Senior Specialist in American National Government ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Analyst in Public Finance ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

[author name scrubbed], specialist in Financial Economics, authored earlier versions of this report.

Footnotes

1.

U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Expenditures, Subcommittee on Investigations, Influence in Government Procurement, 82nd Cong., 1st sess., September 13-15, 17, 19-21, 24-28, October 3-5, 1951 (Washington: GPO, 1951); and U.S. Congress, Senate Banking and Currency, RFC Act Amendments of 1951, hearing on bills to amend the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, 82nd Cong., 1st sess., April 27, 30, May 1, 2, 22, 23, 1951 (Washington: GPO, 1951).

2.

P.L. 83-163, the Small Business Act of 1953 (as amended), see http://legcoun.house.gov/members/Comps/SBA.pdf.

3.

The Small Business Administration's (SBA's) programs have detailed rules on program requirements and administration that are not covered in this report. More detailed information concerning the SBA's programs is available in the CRS reports referenced later in this report, on the SBA's website at https://www.sba.gov/, in 15 U.S.C. §631 et seq., and in Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR&searchPath=Title+13%2FChapter+I&oldPath=Title+13&isCollapsed=true&selectedYearFrom=2017&ycord=0.

4.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R41352, Small Business Management and Technical Assistance Training Programs, by [author name scrubbed].

5.

In FY2018, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) received an appropriation of $130 million, the Microloan Technical Assistance Program received $31 million, Women Business Centers (WBCs) received $18 million, SCORE received $11.5 million, the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME) received $5 million, Veterans Programs received $12.3 million, the NAO program received $2 million, the Clusters initiative received $5 million, the Entrepreneurship Education initiative received $6 million, and the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) received $18 million. The Growth Accelerators Initiative, which is a capital investment program but is sometimes listed as an ED program, received $1 million.

6.

For further analysis of the SBA's Microloan program, see CRS Report R41057, Small Business Administration Microloan Program, by [author name scrubbed].

7.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 38, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf; and SBA, Microloan Program: Partner Identification & Management System Participating Intermediary Microlenders Report, June 21, 2017, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/articles/microlenderrpt5_20170621.pdf. As of June 21, 2017, there were no Microloan intermediaries serving Alaska. An intermediary may not operate in more than one state unless the SBA determines that it would be in the best interests of the small business community for it to operate across state lines. For example, a Microloan intermediary located in Taunton, Massachusetts is allowed to serve small businesses located in Rhode Island because of its proximity to the state and there are currently no Microloan intermediaries located in Rhode Island.

8.

P.L. 106-102, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Section 173. Establishment of Program and Section 175. Qualified Organizations.

9.

SBA, "Veterans Business Outreach Centers," at https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/vboc.

10.

SBA, FY2017 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2015 Annual Performance Report, p. 57, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FY17-CBJ_FY15-APR.pdf.

11.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 89, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

12.

SBA, FY2014 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2012 Annual Performance Report, p. 71, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/1-508-Compliant-FY-2014-CBJ%20FY%202012%20APR.pdf.

13.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 88, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

14.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R41309, The SBA Disaster Loan Program: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

15.

13 C.F.R. §123.200.

16.

13 C.F.R. §123.105 and 13 §123.203.

17.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 108, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

18.

The SBA also offers military reservist economic injury disaster loans. These loans are available when economic injury is incurred as a direct result of a business owner or an essential employee being called to active duty. Generally, these loans are not associated with disasters. See CRS Report R42695, SBA Veterans Assistance Programs: An Analysis of Contemporary Issues, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

19.

13 C.F.R. §123.2.

20.

P.L. 93-288, Disaster Relief Act Amendments; and 42 U.S.C. §5721 et seq.

21.

Disaster declarations are published in the Federal Register and can also be found on the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/content/current-disaster-declarations.

22.

13 C.F.R. §123.105(a)(1).

23.

13 C.F.R. §123.105(a)(2). For mitigation measures implemented after a disaster has occurred to protect the damaged property from a similar disaster in the future, a homeowner can request that the approved loan amount be increased by the lesser of the cost of the mitigation measure or up to 20% of the verified loss (before deducting compensation from other sources), to a maximum of $200,000. 13 C.F.R. §127.

24.

13 C.F.R. §123.203.

25.

See 13 C.F.R. §123.300 for eligibility requirements. Size standards vary according to a variety of factors, including industry type, average firm size, and start-up costs and entry barriers. Size standards can be located in 13 C.F.R. 121. For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R40860, Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

26.

13 C.F.R. §123.302.

27.

Prior to October 1, 1985, the SBA provided direct business loans to qualified small businesses. From October 1, 1985, to September 30, 1994, SBA direct business loan eligibility was limited to qualified small businesses owned by individuals with low incomes or located in areas of high unemployment, owned by Vietnam-era or disabled veterans, owned by the handicapped or certain organizations employing them, and certified under the minority small business capital ownership development program. Microloan program intermediaries were also eligible. On October 1, 1994, SBA direct loan eligibility was limited to Microloan program intermediaries and small businesses owned by the handicapped. Funding to support direct loans to the handicapped through the Handicapped Assistance (renamed the Disabled Assistance) Loan program ended in 1996. The last loan under the Disabled Assistance Loan program was issued in FY1998. See U.S. Congress, House Committee on Small Business, Summary of Activities, 105rd Cong., 2nd sess., January 2, 1999, H.Rept. 105-849 (Washington: GPO, 1999), p. 8.

28.

U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Small Business, Hearing on the Proposed Fiscal Year 1995 Budget for the Small Business Administration, 103rd Cong., 2nd sess., February 22, 1994, S. Hrg. 103-583 (Washington: GPO, 1994), p. 20.

29.

SBA, Fiscal Year 2010 Congressional Budget Justification, p. 30, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Congressional_Budget_Justification_2010.pdf.

30.

The SBA provides financial assistance to nonprofit organizations to provide training to small business owners and to provide loans to small businesses through the SBA Microloan program. Also, nonprofit child care centers are eligible to participate in SBA's Microloan program.

31.

13 C.F.R. §121.105.

32.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R40860, Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

33.

13 C.F.R. §121.201; and P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Act of 2010, §1116. Alternative Size Standards.

34.

SBA, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, "SBA Size Standards Methodology," April 2009, pp. 1-8, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/size_standards_methodology.pdf.

35.

SBA, "Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes," at https://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-size-standards; and SBA, "SBA's Size Standards Analysis: An Overview on Methodology and Comprehensive Size Standards Review," power point presentation, Khem R. Sharma, SBA Office of Size Standards, July 13, 2011, p. 4, at http://www.gtscoalition.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Size-Stds-Presentation_Dr.-Sharma-SBA.pdf.

36.

Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations can be viewed at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?selectedYearFrom=2016&go=Go.

37.

P.L. 105-135, the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, expanded the SBA's Microloan program's eligibility to include borrowers establishing a nonprofit child care business.

38.

15 U.S.C. §636(a)(23)(a).

39.

SBA, "SBA Information Notice: 7(a) and 504 Fees Effective October 1, 2017," August 15, 2017, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/5000-1954_1.pdf.

40.

SBA, "SBA Information Notice: Fees for 7(a) Loans Made to Veteran Owned Small Businesses Effective October 1, 2017," August 15, 2017, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Notice_5000-1955_Veteran_Fees_FY18_1.pdf.

41.

The SBA had waived the up-front, one-time guaranty fee on all veteran loans under the 7(a) SBAExpress program from January 1, 2014, through the end of FY2015. P.L. 114-38 made the SBAExpress program's veteran fee waiver permanent, except during any upcoming fiscal year for which the President's budget, submitted to Congress, includes a cost for the 7(a) program, in its entirety, that is above zero. The SBA waived the fee, pursuant to P.L. 114-38, in FY2016 and FY2017.

42.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 32, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

43.

SBA, FY2016 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2014 Annual Performance Report, p. 6, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/1-FY%202016%20CBJ%20FY%202014%20APR.PDF; U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017; Appendix: Small Business Administration, pp. 1213-1223, at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2017-APP/pdf/BUDGET-2017-APP-1-29.pdf; U.S. Office of Management and Budget, "Appendix: Budget of the U. S. Government, Fiscal Year 2018," p. 1105, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/sba.pdf; and SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, pp. 8, 14, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

44.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R41146, Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program, by [author name scrubbed].

45.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 31, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

46.

Ibid., p. 30.

47.

SBA, "SBA Information Notice: 7(a) and 504 Fees Effective October 1, 2017," August 15, 2017, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/5000-1954_1.pdf.

48.

P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, temporarily increased the SBAExpress program's loan limit to $1 million for one year following enactment (through September 26, 2011).

49.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R41184, Small Business Administration 504/CDC Loan Guaranty Program, by [author name scrubbed].

50.

A debenture is a bond that is not secured by a lien on specific collateral.

51.

SBA, Lending Statistics for Major Programs as of (09-30-2017), at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/WebsiteReport_asof_20170930.pdf.

52.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R43155, Small Business Administration Trade and Export Promotion Programs, by [author name scrubbed].

53.

The International Trade loan program limits its guaranty for working capital to $4 million ($4.444 million gross loan amount).

54.

P.L. 114-125, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, provided the STEP program explicit statutory authorization and authorized to be appropriated $30 million for STEP grants from FY2016 through FY2020. The act also included provisions intended to improve coordination between the federal government and the states, among other provisions.

55.

U.S. Office of Management and Budget, "Appendix: Budget of the U. S. Government, Fiscal Year 2018," p. 1103, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/sba.pdf; and SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, pp. 13, 51, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

56.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R41057, Small Business Administration Microloan Program, by [author name scrubbed].

57.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 37, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf; and SBA, "Nationwide Microloan Report, October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017," March 13, 2018.

58.

These programs apply government-wide but are implemented under the authority of the Small Business Act, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the SBA that determine, in part, eligibility for the programs.

59.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R44844, SBA's "8(a) Program": Overview, History, and Current Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

60.

Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, P.L. 85-536, as amended, can be found at 15 U.S.C 637(a). Regulations are in 13 C.F.R. §124. For recent legal developments, see CRS Report R40987, "Disadvantaged" Small Businesses: Definitions and Designations for Purposes of Federal and Federally Funded Contracting Programs, coordinated by [author name scrubbed], and CRS Report RL33284, Minority Contracting and Affirmative Action for Disadvantaged Small Businesses: Legal Issues, by [author name scrubbed] (out of print; available upon request).

61.

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, accessed on February 14, 2018, at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng/.

62.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R41268, Small Business Administration HUBZone Program, by [author name scrubbed].

63.

GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, accessed on February 14, 2018, at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng/.

64.

Veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are eligible for separate preferences in procurements conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs under the authority of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act, as amended by the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 2008.

65.

GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, accessed on February 14, 2018, at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng/.

66.

P.L. 113-291, the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

67.

GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, accessed on February 14, 2018, at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng/.

68.

SBA, "Dynamic Small Business Search," at http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm.

69.

13 C.F.R. §124.702.

70.

SBA, FY2018 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2016 Annual Performance Report, p. 44, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/FINAL_SBA_FY_2018_CBJ_May_22_2017c.pdf.

71.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 74, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

72.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R42037, SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program, by [author name scrubbed].

73.

Ancillary bonds are also eligible if they are incidental and essential to a contract for which the SBA has guaranteed a final bond. A reclamation bond is eligible if it is issued to reclaim an abandoned mine site and for a project undertaken for a specific period of time.

74.

P.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, includes a provision that increased the Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee Program's guarantee rate from not to exceed 70% to not to exceed 90% of losses starting one year from enactment (effective November 25, 2016). For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R42037, SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program, by [author name scrubbed].

75.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 66, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.

76.

SBA, "Surety Bonds," at https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/bonds/surety-bonds.

77.

Ibid.

78.

P.L. 95-507, a bill to amend the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958.

79.

P.L. 100-656, the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988.

80.

Ibid.

81.

Ibid.

82.

See GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, "Small Business Goaling Report: Fiscal Year 2011," at https://www.fpds.gov/downloads/top_requests/FPDSNG_SB_Goaling_FY_2011.pdf.

83.

15 U.S.C. §644(g)(1)-(2).

84.

GSA, Federal Procurement Data System—Next Generation, "Small Business Goaling Report: Fiscal Year 2016," at https://www.fpds.gov/downloads/top_requests/FPDSNG_SB_Goaling_FY_2016.pdf.

85.

SBA, FY2018 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2016 Annual Performance Report, p. 104, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/FINAL_SBA_FY_2018_CBJ_May_22_2017c.pdf.

86.

Ibid.

87.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 73, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_19_508Final5_1.pdf.

88.

For additional information and analysis, see CRS Report R44589, SBA's Office of Inspector General: Overview, Impact, and Relationship with Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

89.

SBA, "Office of Inspector General," at https://www.sba.gov/office-of-inspector-general.

90.

SBA, "Office of the Inspector General Strategic Plan for FY 2012–2017," p. 3, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/oig/SBA-OIG%202012-2017%20Strategic%20Plan%20.pdf.

91.

Ibid.

92.

For further information and analysis, see CRS Report R41456, SBA Small Business Investment Company Program, by [author name scrubbed].

93.

15 U.S.C. §661.

94.

13 C.F.R. §107.800. The SBIC is not allowed to become a general partner in any unincorporated business or become jointly or severally liable for any obligations of an unincorporated business.

95.

13 C.F.R. §107.810; and 13 C.F.R. §107.840.

96.

13 C.F.R. §107.815. Debt securities are instruments evidencing a loan with an option or any other right to acquire equity securities in a small business or its affiliates, or a loan which by its terms is convertible into an equity position, or a loan with a right to receive royalties that are excluded from the cost of money.

97.

13 C.F.R. §107.820.

98.

SBA, "Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program Overview, as of September 30, 2017," at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2017-12/Fiscal%20Year%20Data%20for%20the%20period%20ending%20September%2030%2C%202017.pdf.

99.

For further information and analysis of the New Markets Venture Capital program, see CRS Report R42565, SBA New Markets Venture Capital Program, by [author name scrubbed].

100.

For further information and analysis of the SBIR program, see CRS Report R43695, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, by [author name scrubbed]

101.

See P.L. 97-219, the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982; and 15 U.S.C. §638.

102.

The percentage of each designated agency's applicable extramural research and development budget to be used to support mission-related work in small businesses was scheduled to increase to not less than 2.7% in FY2013, not less than 2.8% in FY2014, not less than 2.9% in FY2015, not less than 3.0% in FY2016, and not less than 3.2% in FY2017 and each fiscal year thereafter. See P.L. 112-81, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012; and SBA, "Small Business Innovation Research Program Policy Directive," 77 Federal Register 46806-46855.

103.

See P.L. 102-564, the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992; and 15 U.S.C. §638.

104.

The STTR program's set-aside was not less than 0.4% in FY2015, and was increased to 0.45% in FY2016 and each fiscal year thereafter. See P.L. 112-81, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012; and SBA, "Small Business Technology Transfer Program Policy Directive," 77 Federal Register 46855-46908.

105.

SBA, FY2018 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2016 Annual Performance Report, p. 75, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/FINAL_SBA_FY_2018_CBJ_May_22_2017c.pdf.

106.

Ibid.

107.

SBA, "SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition: The 2017 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition," at https://www.sba.gov/node/1428931/leadership/.

108.

For further information and analysis of the Office of Advocacy, see CRS Report R43625, SBA Office of Advocacy: Overview, History, and Current Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

109.

SBA, "Office of Advocacy: About Us," at https://www.sba.gov/category/advocacy-navigation-structure/about-us-0.

110.

SBA, Office of Advocacy, FY2013 Congressional Budget Justification, p. 2, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/1-508%20Compliant%20FY%202013%20CBJ%20FY%202011%20APR%281%29.pdf.

111.

The National Women's Business Council, "About the Council," Washington, DC, at https://www.nwbc.gov/about-the-nwbc.

112.

For further information and analysis see CRS Report R45071, SBA Office of the National Ombudsman: Overview, History, and Current Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

113.

SBA, "Office of the National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness," at https://www.sba.gov/ombudsman.

114.

SBA, "National Ombudsman's Fiscal Year Reports to Congress," at https://www.sba.gov/ombudsman/national-ombudsmans-fiscal-year-reports-congress.

115.

SBA, "SBA and NAGGL Launch Business Smart Toolkit," September 4, 2015, at https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-and-naggl-launch-business-smart-toolkit.

116.

P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, made several changes relating to the SBA's loan guaranty programs. The legislation increased loan limits for the 7(a) program from $2 million to $5 million and raised the 504/CDC program's loan limits from $2 million to $5 million for standard borrowers and from $4 million to $5.5 million for manufacturers. It temporarily expanded for two years the eligibility for low-interest refinancing under the SBA's 504/CDC program for qualified debt. It also amended the SBAExpress program, the SBA Microloan program, the SBA secondary market program, the SBA size standards, and the SBA International Trade Finance program. For further information and analysis concerning P.L. 111-240, see CRS Report R40985, Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation, by [author name scrubbed].

117.

P.L. 112-17, the Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011.

118.

The act redefined a BRAC base closure area under the HUBZone program to include the lands within the external boundaries of the closed base and the census tract or nonmetropolitan county in which the lands of the closed base are wholly contained, intersect it, or are contiguous to it.

119.

P.L. 114-125 also included provisions intended to improve coordination between the federal government and the states, among other provisions.

120.

For further information concerning SBA appropriations, see CRS Report R43846, Small Business Administration (SBA) Funding: Overview and Recent Trends, by [author name scrubbed].

121.

P.L. 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018; and P.L. 115-141, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018.

122.

SBA, FY2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report, p. 8, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_2019_CBJ_APR_2_12_post.pdf.