Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Money is not a client of any investment adviser featured on this page. The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Money does not offer advisory services.

Cafe owners
Getty Images

The U.S. Small Business Administration hit the budget limit set by Congress for its main loan guarantee program on Thursday, forcing it to halt the funding of new loans with over two months left in the fiscal year.

Facing this news, small businesses will have to wait until the start of the next fiscal year (Oct. 1), or wait to see if Congress decides to raise the program’s budget limit of $18.75 billion.

The loans in question — 7(a) loans — provide businesses with money to purchase new equipment, real estate, and even provide money to pay operational expenses and cover short-term working capital needs.

SBA spokesman Miguel Ayala told Reuters that the agency's lending capacity for fiscal 2015 was exceeded by stronger-than-anticipated demand for the government-guaranteed 7(a) program loans made by banks to small businesses.

According to the AP, bills attempting to raise the program budget "have been introduced by lawmakers including Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman David Vitter, R-La., and Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., the most senior Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, and the committee's chair, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio."

If Congress doesn't pass a bill soon, however, prospects of having the budget raised look dim.