More than 3,000 small-business owners on Wednesday urged Congress to authorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the first time in over two decades.
In a letter organized by Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, the small-business owners called on lawmakers to modernize the SBA, which relies on archaic technology and struggled to process COVID-19 relief loans for businesses.
“The SBA was on the frontlines of the federal government’s pandemic response, and they helped millions of small businesses remain open and retain workers. But the pandemic also exposed significant gaps, inefficiencies, and areas where SBA reform is needed to more effectively support our nation’s job creators and innovators,” they wrote.
Goldman Sachs also launched a TV ad showing senators from both parties calling for reauthorization. The company hopes that a divided Congress starting in January will see SBA reauthorization as one of the few bipartisan bills Democrats and Republicans can unite behind.
Roughly 2,500 small business owners in the Goldman Sachs group blitzed Capitol Hill in July to build support for reauthorization. They warned that a recession could doom huge numbers of small businesses that are already struggling with inflation, supply chain snags and higher interest rates.
Reauthorizing the SBA would ensure that more small businesses have access to capital and make its programs much easier to navigate, advocates say.
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) expressed hope that lawmakers will finally reform the SBA at the July event.
“I’m confident that it will happen,” Scott said. “I hope it happens soon.”