Now that the federal government shutdown is over, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is facing a backlog. During the shutdown, many small business owners were left to deal with the consequences of the SBA being closed since October 1, The Washington Post reports.
Despite the SBA finally reopening, however, this doesn't mean that normal operations will fully resume just yet.
What's on the SBA's plate, now that furloughed workers are back on the job? And what should small business owners expect from the SBA? Here's a general overview:
SBA Gets Back to Business
During the 16-day government shutdown, the SBA was unable to process any new loan requests. Over that period of time, about 700 entrepreneurs submitted up to $140 million worth of applications through the SBA's signature lending program, the 7(a) program, according to the Post.
These applications unfortunately were stacked up in an untouched queue during the closure. This means that, for the SBA, they have plenty of work to comb through before they can be up-to-date.
More Waiting for Small Business Owners
On the SBA's blog, the acting SBA administrator advises that some things may take a little while longer to get back up and running fully. What this means is that business owners who have submitted a loan application during the shutdown may not be approved as quickly as they'd hoped.
Still, the SBA blog offered some good news for entrepreneurs, including that:
- All 68 SBA district offices have reopened;
- The SBA's Office of Government Contracting and Business Development is working to ensure that small businesses get their fair share of federal contracts; and
- The SBA's small business export-training and -promotion programs are back in operation.
For small business owners waiting to hear back about SBA loans, you may have to continue penny pinching while you wait. You may also want to start looking into alternatives to SBA loans for the time being; viable options for generating revenue and/or cutting costs may include applying for grants, reducing benefits, or even moving office locations.
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