The Small Business Administration’s 2006 budget is $593 million, down from $1.1 billion in 2001. This may explain some of the difficulties that the SBA has had in responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As the Associated Press recently reported, of the more than 9,500 applications for home and business loans in Texas and Louisiana, only six had been approved in spite of the fact that the agency had hired temporary employees to help process disaster loans.
"It's obvious that the Bush Administration is trying to reduce federal programs that assist small business by gutting budget and staff," stated Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League (Petaluma, Calif.). "We're preparing to take legal action to prevent them from further harming small businesses that are trying to conduct business with the federal government."