Cutting the Red Tape For Small Business
by Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
- Created: December 19, 2012, 5:04 pm
- Updated: December 19, 2012, 5:04 pm
President Obama has made creating a more efficient government a top priority. As part of this effort, he has called on Federal agencies to streamline their rules and requirements through reducing paperwork burdens.
At the Small Business Administration, we’ve eliminated more than a hundred of pages of paperwork from our loan applications and simplified our programs, increasing access and opportunity for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs and saving them time.
For example, we created a simpler application process for our Small Loan Advantage program for loans under $350,000, called SLA 2.0. And as a result, we’ve seen a threefold increase in participating lenders and a more than 280 percent increase in the number of loans provided since its launch.
We’ve also reengineered our CAPLines Program, a product designed to help small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs. As a result, we streamlined the paperwork, allowed banks to use more of their own processes, and we are now seeing volumes up roughly 300 percent in dollars and 400 percent in loans.
And we’ve transformed our Office of Disaster Assistance and made it easier for those affected by a disaster to apply for a loan. The application for home loans is four pages and three pages for business loans. During Hurricane Katrina it took almost 77 days to get a disaster loan turned around. Today, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, more than 60 percent of the Sandy applications are coming in on-line and being turned around in just 14 to 18 days.
For high growth businesses and the funds who invest in them, we’ve reduced the processing times to license new Small Business Investment Company funds to just 5.4 months from about 15 months in 2009. This streamlining helped fuel our third consecutive record-breaking year in FY 2012. Investment funds licensed as SBICs provided more than $3 billion in growth capital to over 1,000 small businesses, a 17 percent increase from FY11 and an 83 percent increase from FY10—all at no cost to the taxpayer.
And we just released a new consolidated online learning platform, which includes a streamlined searchable catalog of courses to help meet more business owners where they are, whether it’s a classroom, online, or at the office.
As we look to build on this progress in the coming months with ambitious new efforts to further streamline and simplify programs across the Agency, our goal will always remain to ensure small businesses have seamless interaction with the SBA and services across the Federal Government.
President Obama has said that when small businesses succeed, America succeeds. At the SBA, we’re focused on doing all we can to help America’s entrepreneurs get the access and opportunity they need to what they do best: grow their businesses and create good jobs.
About the Author
Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.
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