The SBA Microloan Program was authorized in 1991 (PL 102-140) to provide small loans and technical assistance to businesses that conventional lenders are unable to finance for a variety of reasons, including the lack of sufficient collateral or business experience.
Working through a network of community-based intermediary lenders, the SBA Microloan Program is able to finance and support new and emerging businesses in our communities and eventually move these businesses into the economic mainstream as bankable ventures.
While the official SBA definition of a “small business” is one with fewer than 500 employees, more than 80 percent of all businesses in this country employ 10 or fewer employees. These businesses have always been a critical source of employment and new jobs—especially during a recession. The Microloan Program is especially helpful to these smaller businesses.
To date, intermediary lenders used SBA Microloan funds to originate more than $958 million in loans to small businesses that have created or retained 276,061 jobs since the program’s inception in 1992. As noted previously, despite intermediaries serving “at risk” small businesses, the SBA Microloan program touts an exceptionally low loss rate of less than 2 percent.
In FY 2017, there were 144 SBA Microloan Intermediaries serving rural, suburban, and urban communities across 49 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
In FY 2018, intermediaries made 5,457 loans, totaling more than $76.8 million, to small businesses supporting 20,486 jobs.  The average loan size was approximately $14,000. SBA reports that increased program funding in FY 2017 and FY 2018 has led to increased lending production. Further, SBA added four new lenders to the program in the last fiscal year, and the number of jobs supported has increased with higher funding levels.
For more information on the SBA Microloan Program, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 SBA, “Fiscal Year 2019 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2017 Annual Performance Report,” p. 37, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/aboutsbaarticle/SBA_FY_19_508Final5_1.pdf. For a list of all Microloan intermediaries, regardless of lending volume, see SBA, Microloan Program: Partner Identification & Management System Participating Intermediary Microlenders Report, June 21, 2017, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/ articles/microlenderrpt5_20170621.pdf.
 SBA, “Fiscal Year 2020 Congressional Budget Justification and FY2018 Annual Performance Report,” pp. 38, 39, at https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/SBA%20FY%202020%20Congressional%20Justification_V2_15Mar19_508Statement_0.pdf
 Ibid., pp. 38.