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Small Business Investment Companies

Chair: Patrick Weston, Route 2 Capital Partners

Launched in 1958, the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program has a long history of success helping small U.S. businesses access long-term, patient capital for growth and job creation. Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the SBIC program utilizes the talent of experienced private investment fund managers to achieve critical public policy objectives. According to data compiled by SBA, as of 2024 the SBIC program has:

  • Deployed more than $130 billion of capital;
  • Made more than 194,000 investments in U.S. small businesses; and
  • Licensed nearly 2,400 funds.

Today, there are more than 300 licensed SBIC funds* representing $30+ billion in domestic capital. SBIA works closely with the SBA and with members of Congress to ensure the vibrancy of the program continues, and that it expands to underserved areas.

In August 2023, SBA implemented significant reforms to the SBIC program, creating two new SBIC licenses to expand the spectrum of private sector capital supporting U.S. small businesses**. The Accrual SBIC license is designed to support longer-term equity investments. The Reinvestor SBIC license aims to increase the geographic reach of the program and foster the next generation of fund managers.

Fund management teams that successfully complete the SBIC application process may access low-cost leverage up to two times the private capital they raise. These funds then invest in a portfolio of U.S. small businesses – creating jobs, fostering innovation, and fueling economic growth. 

A 2017 Library of Congress study found that SBIC-backed small businesses created almost 3 million new jobs and supported an additional 6.5 million jobs over a 20-year period. Every one of these jobs represented a gain to the communities where they are located and to the broader regions from which they draw employees and provide goods and services. Moreover, these businesses have continued to succeed independently, growing into robust, sustainable mid-sized businesses that bring prosperity and employment to communities across the country. 

Members of SBIA participate in industry councils for sector-specific updates on policy and regulatory matters and educational opportunities. The SBIC Council regularly convenes to discuss relevant issues and often participates in forums and discussions with SBIC program leaders at the SBA.

*As of June 30, 2023, there were 302 licensed and operating Debenture SBICs with private capital of $22.8 billion and $12.5 billion in outstanding leverage.

**Visit the 2023 SBIC Investment Diversification and Growth Rule page to find more information and policy summaries about the changes to the program.


See How Small Business Investment Companies
Are Making An Impact In Your State

2022 data, courtesy of Solve.

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