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Highlights

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development offices share a mission of attending to underserved markets, promoting economic development, and improving the quality of life in America through the promotion of entrepreneurship and community development. In the past, these agencies have had cooperative working relationships to help manage their respective rural loan and economic development programs. At this subcommittee's request, GAO has undertaken a review of potential opportunities for SBA to seek increased collaboration and cooperation with USDA Rural Development (Rural Development), particularly given Rural Development's large and recognizable presence in rural communities. In this testimony, GAO provides preliminary views on (1) mechanisms that SBA and USDA have used to facilitate collaboration with other federal agencies and with each other; (2) the organization of SBA and USDA Rural Development field offices; and (3) the planned approach for GAO's recently initiated evaluation on collaboration between SBA and Rural Development. GAO discussed the contents of this testimony with SBA and USDA officials.

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