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What is the Business Development Company Council?

2023-2024 BDC Council Chair: Ian Simmonds, Sixth Street


Members of the Small Business Investor Alliance participate in industry councils for sector-specific updates on policy and regulatory matters and educational opportunities. These groups convene regularly to discuss relevant issues and time-sensitive topics.

The Business Development Company (BDC) Council brings together BDCs to advocate for reforms that provide easier access to capital for America’s businesses while maintaining strict investor protections. The Council often features presentations by external stakeholders and policy-making entities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Informed by the industry council, the Small Business Investor Alliance regularly engages with members of Congress, regulatory agencies, and outside stakeholders to promote the role of BDCs in small business capital formation and to ensure that BDCs maintain their critical role in financing and growing the Main Street economy.

What are Business Development Companies?

Created in 1980 with overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support, Business Development Companies (BDCs) are job-creating engines that provide access to capital for American small- and medium-sized businesses. BDCs invest at least 70% of their total assets in “eligible portfolio companies,” which are generally defined as public and private U.S. operating companies valued at under $250 million, providing capital as well as management expertise to these companies to help them grow. Nascent companies rely on BDCs to purchase land, equipment, and factories. The more capital there is available to BDCs means more American small businesses have the opportunity for growth.

The BDC structure also offers retail or Main Street investors the opportunity to invest in smaller U.S. companies that otherwise only high net worth investors would be able to access. This helps to close both the investment opportunity gap and the capital gap. BDCs have provided good returns to investors compared to traditional fixed income investments.

The Small Business Investor Alliance is recognized as the “go-to” resource for Congress and regulators on issues pertaining to BDCs and their investors.

By The Numbers

There are currently 138 BDCs with over $274 billion in AUM investing in small- and medium-sized businesses across the country.


There are 47 publicly traded BDCs with $130 billion in aggregate assets, allowing ordinary investors a chance to purchase shares in the growth of middle market America.

There are 69 private BDCs with $57 billion in aggregate assets.

There are 22 non-traded BDCs with aggregate assets of $87 billion

Data is courtesy of Solve and Eversheds Sutherland. Current as of 2022-2023.

BDCs Making a Difference

In March 2017, after SBIA’s multi-year education campaign “BDCs Work for America,” legislation modernizing BDC regulation was signed into law. The legislation allows the BDC industry to provide billions of dollars in additional growth capital to American small businesses through streamlined regulations and an optional increase in the leverage ratio. To learn more stay up to date on industry issues, visit

Industry News

Leadership on compass

SBIA Announces 2023-2024 Leadership

October 15, 2023

The Small Business Investor Alliance announces its 2023-2024 Board of Governors, including Board Officers, Regional Chairs, At-Large Board Members, and designated Council Chairs. Caroline Ducas, a founding partner of Nashville-based Resolute Capital Partners, is the incoming Chair.

Read More

SBIA expresses support for bill to ensure accurate disclosure for BDCs

August 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 28, 2023) – The Small Business Investor…

Read More

SBIA expresses support for BDC tax parity bill

August 18, 2023

August 18, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) – The Small Business Investor Alliance…

Read More

See How Business Development Companies
Are Making An Impact In Your State

2022 data, courtesy of Solve.