Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration - Government Accountability Office

Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration - Government Accountability Office

Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration - Government Accountability Office

Posted: 02 Jun 2021 12:00 AM PDT

What GAO Found

In April 2020, GAO identified eight priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since then, SBA has implemented one of these recommendations by developing a process for an organization-wide cybersecurity risk assessment.

In April 2021, GAO identified eight additional priority recommendations for SBA, bringing the total number to 15. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • COVID-19 pandemic response
  • Disaster response
  • Credit elsewhere requirement
  • Export promotion

SBA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional or executive branch decision making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Daniel Garcia-Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or

SBA grants update: The window for PPP loans has closed -

Posted: 01 Jun 2021 12:00 AM PDT

The Small Business Administration said Tuesday that it is no longer accepting applications for the paycheck protection program, which offered forgivable loans to small businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Existing applications will continue to be reviewed through the end of the month.

The program, created in last year's stimulus legislation, has made $799.8 billion in loans to more than 8.5 million small businesses.

"I've heard story after story from small business owners across the country about how PPP funds helped them keep the lights on, pay their employees — and gave them hope," SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said.

PPP loans were designed to help small businesses pay their workers' salaries as well as rent, mortgage interest and utility costs. The loans were to be forgiven if they went for wages.

New Jersey has more than 861,000 small businesses, the 11th highest in the U.S., according to the state Business Action Center.

State small businesses received 310,666 PPP loans totaling $25.8 billion, according to SBA figures. Some businesses received more than one loan.

But the state's small businesses still need more help, said Eileen Kean, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the small-business lobby. She called on the state Legislature to use some of the federal funds the state is receiving under the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus law to provide grants to small businesses.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

The federal program had problems at the beginning. Some small businesses in New Jersey initially couldn't qualify for loans because they spent more on rent than the program allowed. Those requirements were tweaked as Congress extended the program due to its popularity, and then allowed businesses to get a second PPP loan as the pandemic continued.

Others complained that they couldn't get the loans, even though they met the qualifications.

And some of the loans went to well-connected lobbying firms and elite prep schools in the state.

SBA later reached out to smaller businesses and smaller lenders. Guzman said 96% of the loans awarded this year went to those with fewer than 20 employees.

"Millions of underserved businesses – particularly our smallest businesses and those owned by women and people of color – were left out of early rounds of relief," she said. "I'm proud of the work we did to begin to rectify these inequities."

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SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman's Statement on Role of Small Businesses in Strengthening America's Supply Chains following - GlobeNewswire

Posted: 09 Jun 2021 01:44 PM PDT

Washington, June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman issued the following statement in response to President's 100 Day Review Report on America's Supply Chains:

"The 100 Day Review report on America's supply chains breaks new ground in recognizing that a resilient supply chain depends on all of our small businesses and innovative startups, including those owned by women, people of color, and others who have been historically left behind by federal R&D and investment policy and whose full potential we need to leverage if we are to build back better. The SBA looks forward to partnering across the federal government to strengthen domestic competitiveness and supply chain resilience by ensuring that every entrepreneur has equitable access to credit, investment, customers, and advisory services that are essential to scaling up to the challenge."


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


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