The Senate has approved an extra $107 million in funding for federal small-business programs overseen by the Small Business Administration.
A bill passed late last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee boosts funding for some of the agency's core programs by as much as 50 percent, including more resources for women, veterans and native Americans.
New funding will also be provided for a microloan program that was cut out of the agency's budget.
"The sluggish economy is making it very hard for small businesses to access the capital and counseling they need to succeed," Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said in a statement.
Kerry said the additional funding will help create jobs and boost the economy.
Since 2001, the SBA's operating budget has been reduced by over 30 percent.