Created by Congress in 1976, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. Appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy directs the office. The Chief Counsel advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers. Economic research, policy analyses, and small business outreach help identify issues of concern. The Office of Advocacy has regional advocates to represent each of the 10 federal regions, and a Rural Affairs Advocate who represents rural areas in all regions. The advocates help identify new issues and concerns of small business owners. They work closely with local government officials, state officials and legislators, and the Chief Counsel for Advocacy to develop programs and policies that support small business growth. Regional Advocates and an office in Washington, DC, support the Chief Counsel’s efforts.