By Karen Mills
, Former SBA Administrator
Published: July 30, 2013
Updated: July 30, 2013
The U.S Small Business Administration celebrates its 60th birthday today. It is a great occasion to mark and celebrate the agency’s accomplishments over the past six decades.
When, following the suggestion of President Eisenhower, Congress passed the Small Business Act and created the Small Business Administration in 1953, its stated mission was to "aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns," and also ensure small businesses a “fair proportion” of government contracts. We still do these core functions to this day.
And at the time he signed the Small Business Act, President Eisenhower said: “It is my wish that the federal government programs and policies aimed at assisting small businesses ...provide such enterprises with additional constructive assistance.” Sixty years later, the landscape of the nation has changed substantially, but SBA’s mission and its commitment to the success of small business remain the same.
During the past six decades, SBA has helped tens of millions of small businesses start, grow and succeed through the delivery of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. In addition, in the aftermath of devastating disasters, SBA disaster loans have helped more than a million homeowners and renters, and hundreds of thousands of businesses recover and rebuild their lives.
Back in 1953, the newly-minted agency was at the forefront of the fight against the sequels of the Great Depression and World War II. Today, the SBA is still doing what it does best: helping small businesses start, grow and create jobs.
America’s 28 million small business owners drive job creation and innovation across our economy. They are responsible for creating in our communities two out of three net new private sector jobs. Our goal at the SBA is to ensure that government provides effective help for these entrepreneurs to grow and succeed so that they continue to lead our country out of troubled economic times and put us on the path to long-term prosperity. We did that in 1953 and we will do that today and into the future.
Happy 60th Anniversary, SBA!