Small Business Administration
• The overwhelming majority of small employers (95%) have heard of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). Of the 95 percent who have heard of SBA, just 17 percent are very familiar with the agency while 24 percent have heard of it and that is about all.
• A plurality of small employers (43%) who have heard of SBA hold a favorable impression of the agency, but almost as many (42%) hold none at all. Only 14 percent have an unfavorable impression.
• Eighty-five (85) percent of small-business owners report that SBA has had no direct impact on their business over the last three years. Of those who think they have been directly impacted, over twice as many assess the impact as favorable as assess it as unfavorable.
• Seventy (70) percent cannot identify one government agency, federal, state, or local, that has had a positive impact on their business in the last three years. One percent identified the Small Business Administration as the governmental unit with a positive (the most positive if the owner could think of more than one unit) impact.
• Small employers think SBA’s current programmatic functions as they perceive them to be are appropriate. Forty-two (42) percent think SBA puts greatest emphasis on finance and finance-related functions. Fourteen (14) percent mention an emphasis on management assistance and counseling. Meanwhile, 54 percent think emphasis should be placed on financial assistance for small-business owners who cannot get financing in the private sector. Nineteen (19) percent think greatest emphasis should fall on management assistance-type programs.
• Small employers do not think current programmatic targets as they perceive them to be are necessarily appropriate. Twenty-six (26) percent think that both owners of start-up businesses and socially and economically disadvantaged owners of small businesses are SBA’s current policy priority. But, 36 percent think SBA should give policy priority to owners of start-ups and another 26 percent think owners of run-of-the-mill small businesses should have priority.
• Seven percent of small employers participated in some SBA or SBA-sponsored program or activity over the last three years. The subject matter of the activity in which they participated was finance-related in two-thirds of cases.
• Fourteen (14) percent have visited the SBA Web site in the last year. Most visited only a couple of times over the period. The site receives modestly positive ratings compared to other sites small employers frequent.
plurality (46%) think SBA receives too few resources, particularly compared to those who think it receives too many (15%). However, two-thirds would not increase the deficit to increase agency resources and three-quarters would not raise taxes to do so.