The House approved a Defense Department authorization bill on Wednesday that included provisions to continue funding the Small Business Administration.

The legislation gave the SBA an additional $125 million to extend provisions of the economic stimulus bill enacted in February that lowered some fees and increased the government's guarantee on such loans to 90% from 75%. The Senate has yet to pass the bill, but could act soon.

Lenders had praised the increased guarantees as helpful to the SBA market, but funding for the program ran out. The extra funding is expected to keep the programs running through the first part of 2010.

"Since their enactment earlier this year, these reduced cost loans have put nearly $14 billion of capital into the small-business economy," House Small Business Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez said in a press release.

"While this is an import step, much more will need to be done in the coming months if small businesses are going to realize their full potential as the catalysts of job creation."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.