Still reeling from heavy criticism as a result of delays in its disaster loan programs following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, the U.S. Small Business Administration has received approval from lawmakers to revamp many of its programs.According to reports, the Senate Small Business Committee gave its blessing to a three-year re-authorization of programs to hone the agency's disaster loan efforts and minority small business development.
New SBA Administrator Steven Preston has advocated the agency's commitment to repair the disaster loan program, as well as forging partnerships with private sector groups.
Under the revamp, the agency would create a new "bridge loan" program providing states with federal guarantees on loans provided to assist with disaster relief. Those businesses that are affected by significant increases in energy costs would be provided with up to $1.5 million in loans.
The Senate's SBA mandate also calls for the creation of a minority small business development office, which would have an annual budget of roughly $5 million.
SMBs feeling good
In related news, small business owners are optimistic about the future, despite rising fuel prices and interest rate hikes, according to a poll from Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.
The survey revealed that more than 70 percent of small business owners indicated that their company's financial situation was very good or good. Some 80 percent predicted that they would be better off financially in one year. Just 6 percent felt they would be worse off.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access