August 18, 2023

SBA: Implementation Announced for Transformational SBIC Program Reforms

Reforms of SBA’s Small Business Investment Company Address Gaps in Equity and Debt Financing for Underserved and Undercapitalized Small Businesses Effective August 17

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Investment Company’s (SBIC) Diversification and Growth Final Rule is effective today. Under the new rule, which supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic and equity priorities, the SBA will implement regulatory and policy reforms to increase access to private equity and debt capital for: 

Starting August 17, private market fund managers can apply for SBIC licenses designed for investing in American small businesses and startups with equity-oriented or long-duration strategies. The two new SBIC licenses – the “Accrual SBIC” and the “Reinvestor (Fund-of-Funds) SBIC” – expand the SBIC program network of private market financing partners and the SBA’s reach to historically underserved small businesses and startups.  Critically, the regulatory and policy reforms are designed to reduce the financial burden for new program applicants and provide a more streamlined application experience.  

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring small businesses can access capital for growth – especially aligned with our focus on equity, manufacturing, and innovation that will power our economy into the future. SBA’s partnerships with private funds in the SBIC program deliver so America’s small businesses can take advantage of opportunities as the President Invests in America, and these transformational reforms break down the structural limitations in the SBIC Program to increase the flow of equity and debt financing to underserved communities, capital-intensive industries, and technology areas critical to U.S. national security and economic development,” said Administrator Guzman.  

“By strengthening, diversifying, and expanding our network of SBIC-licensed private funds, the reforms will help fill funding gaps and unlock potential in underserved small businesses, innovative startups, and businesses developing technologies critical to national security,” said SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation Bailey DeVries. 

Since 1958, the SBA has licensed and regulated private market investment funds as “SBICs.” SBICs invest equity or lend private capital, plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee, to make equity and/or debt investments in small businesses and startups.  

Today, the SBIC program is comprised of more than 308 discrete private funds across mezzanine, private credit, buyout, growth, venture, and multi-strategy, which collectively have more than $40 billion in public and private assets under management (AUM). Last year, SBICs invested $8 billion in more than 1,500 companies that created and sustained over 103,000 U.S. jobs.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration  

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. Learn more at 

About SBA Office of Investment and Innovation  

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) leads programs that provide the high-growth small business community with access to two things: financial capital and R&D funds to develop commercially viable innovations. Our work is underpinned by public-private partnerships that help small businesses on their trajectory from idea to IPO. Learn more at

This post was originally published here.