The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that provides substantial support to small businesses.
The mission of the SBA is to “maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters.”
The SBA does not make financial contributions directly to small businesses, but assists in educating and preparing the business owner to apply for a loan through a designated financial institution or bank. The SBA then functions as a supporter of the bank loan. In some cases, it is also beneficial to acquire loans for works to get government procurement contracts for small businesses, as well as assist businesses with technical, management, and training issues.
The SBA has directly and indirectly helped nearly 20 million businesses and had a loan portfolio of roughly 219,000 loans worth more than $84 billion, making it the largest single financial supporter of businesses in the United States in 2008.