AllBusiness, By: Keith Girard 

During the Civil War battle at Antietam in 1862, Col. Benjamin Davis of the 8th New York Calvary led a raid on Confederate Gen. Longstreet's reserve ammunition supply train. Judging from its size, he realized the immensity of the Confederate effort and uttered nervously: "Where is McClellan and his army?"

The nation's economy is at a similar pivotal point, balancing precipitously on the edge of a potentially long and deep recession. While the government has moved rapidly to bail out Wall Street and large banks, many small businesses are asking a similar question: Where is the Small Business Administration?...

Lending through the SBA's flagship 7(a) and 504 programs is down 55 percent and 36 percent, respectively, since this time last year. And since the major collapse of financial markets in September, SBA lending has declined by more than 50 percent, according to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who chairs the Senate Small Business Committee. 

"The Administration has done little to reverse this trend," Kerry says. "The rescue package was a good first step, but small firms can't wait months for help to reach them. Entrepreneurs need help now and they're clearly not getting it from private lenders."

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