If you're a small business owner whose company needs an infusion of cash, the Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to help. A federal agency charged with assisting small businesses, the SBA provides most of its assistance by loan guarantees to lenders. Such guarantees encourage private institutions (mostly banks and credit unions) to lend money to new or struggling businesses. SBA-backed loans, which can run from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, are very flexible. They can be used to finance working capital, equipment, furniture, buildings, and a variety of other business needs.