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Service Federal Research Division

Small Business Administration

FRD provided the Small Business Administration with rapid insight and critical real-time information on the effect of COVID-19 on small business concerns.

Rapid Briefs on the Effect of COVID-19 on Small Businesses

The Client

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the nation’s only federal resource devoted solely to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The agency provides counseling services, capital, and guidance regarding a range of small business topics, including those relevant to underrepresented groups. Pursuant to its mission of supporting a strong small business ecosystem, SBA conducts original research to identify challenges and opportunities in relevant areas.

The Ask

The COVID-19 pandemic had immediate and significant implications for small businesses across the country. In response, SBA sought to produce a series of briefs examining key aspects of small business operations and the ways in which such operations had been impacted by shut-downs, supply chain concerns, and other pandemic-related conditions. The series was intended to provide critical information to a broad audience, including staff at SBA headquarters and district offices, as well as resource partners such as Women’s Business Centers and Small Business Development Centers.

Why FRD?

Given the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread variations in orders and restrictions across states, and the need for concise summaries of still-developing conditions affecting small businesses, SBA contracted FRD to provide this key foundational research. FRD’s agile staffing and ability to work with outside experts allowed researchers to be allocated quickly, and provided the flexibility to consult with subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and nuance. As a result, FRD was able to deliver finalized copies of each brief within six weeks of beginning research, inclusive of client review and feedback.

The Product

Following FRD delivery, SBA distributed the final briefs to internal stakeholders and appropriate resource partners.  

The Impact

The full set of briefs written by FRD provided SBA decision-makers at both headquarters and regional offices with critical information on a range of topics. The research allowed for the rapid contextualization of still-developing small business concerns; it also provided recommended ways SBA could support small business interests during the pandemic and address emerging concerns in the long term.

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Federal Research Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE
John Adams Building, LA 5281
Washington, D.C. 20540-4840
Phone: 202-707-3900
Fax: 202-707-3920