Stop-Gap Support for Small Business

The passage of a 45-day Continuing Resolution (CR) by U.S. Congress to avert a government shutdown occurred Saturday, September 30th. As was predicted by the experts at Loan Mantra, the deal was negotiated only hours before the deadline. The CR will provide some stability and relief to small business owners.

Small business owners enter U.S. capitol
buPhotographer: Henry A | Source: Unsplash

Impact on Small Business

While small business owners should continue to exercise prudent practices to weather potential negotiations, here are key points regarding this CR:

1. Averted Government Shutdown:

Congress acted just before the midnight deadline to pass the CR, preventing a government shutdown. Despite Loan Mantra’s prediction that the shutdown wasn’t likely to occur this time, a resolution was somewhat unexpected. Others had forecasted the shutdown. Regardless, experts agree that small business owners should prepare for the ongoing negotiations.

2. Funding Through November 17, 2023:

The CR will fund the federal government until November 17, 2023. This temporary funding measure offers a short-term solution to “keep the lights on” for federal government and major governmental agencies.

3. Time for Negotiations:

The primary purpose of this 45-day CR is to allow both political parties more time to negotiate and agree on a spending package for 2024. This extension creates additional time for lawmakers to find consensus on budgetary matters.

4. Future Funding Needs:

By the November 17 deadline, Congress will need to pass either another CR or a full-year funding package to avoid the possibility of another government shutdown. The outcome will depend on the progress of negotiations and the willingness of lawmakers to reach an agreement.

5. Impact on Small Business Administration and SBA Loan Programs:

The CR's passage ensures that the Small Business Administration (SBA) and programs like the 7(a) Loan Program and the Secondary Market Guarantee Program will continue to operate and receive funding as the new fiscal year begins. This continuity is vital for small businesses and borrowers who rely on these programs for financial support.

Before the Thanksgiving break, lawmakers will need to negotiate two key sticking points that are missing in the current CR: border security and aid to Ukraine. Overall, while the 45-day CR averts an immediate government shutdown, it underscores the need for continued negotiations and bipartisan cooperation to secure long-term funding solutions and budget agreements. The outcome of these negotiations will have major implications on small business and those that fuel the Main Street economy.