GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Some disaster survivors—specifically people living in low-income neighborhoods or rural isolated areas, people of color, and people with disabilities—have problems accessing disaster assistance programs and recovery resources.
Federal agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs awarded over $3 billion to small businesses in FY 2020 to develop and commercialize new technologies.
To help small businesses affected by COVID-19, the Small Business Administration gave low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans and grants to millions of applicants. These funds totaled $224 billion as of February 2021.
In response to COVID-19, Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses get low-interest loans. The Small Business Administration guarantees the loans—so if a borrower defaults, SBA will buy the loan from the lender.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband—an always "on" internet connection—at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. (Access rates are lower in rural areas and we previously found overall access may be overstated.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress dramatically increased the amount of loans, grants, and other financial assistance available from the Small Business Administration.
SBA received about $3.4 billion in FY 2020 to administer this assistance.