Small Business Administration

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Government

About Us

In the Small Business Act of July 30, 1953, Congress created the Small Business Administration, whose function was to ''aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns.''; The charter also stipulated that SBA would ensure small businesses a ''fair proportion''; of government contracts and sales of surplus property.

By 1954, SBA already was making direct business loans and guaranteeing bank loans to small businesses, as well as making loans to victims of natural disasters, working to get government procurement contracts for small businesses and helping business owners with management and technical assistance and business training. The Investment Company Act of 1958 established the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program, under which SBA licensed, regulated and helped provide funds for privately owned and operated venture capital investment firms. They specialized in providing long-term debt and equity investments to high-risk small businesses. Its creation was the result of a Federal Reserve study that discovered, in the simplest terms, that small businesses could not get the credit they needed to keep pace with technological advancement. In 1964, SBA began to attack poverty through the Equal Opportunity Loan (EOL) Program. The EOL Program relaxed the credit and collateral requirements for applicants living below the poverty level in an effort to encourage new businesses that had been unable to attract financial backing, but were nevertheless sound commercial initiatives.