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The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program was intended to stimulate and supplement the flow of private-equity capital and long-term loans to small businesses (independently operated, generally with assets not exceeding $9 million) for growth, expansion, and modernization. The government makes long-term loans to SBICs which are regulated and licensed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), charging interest at approximately its cost of borrowing, about 7 or 8 percent.

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