The U.S. Small Business Administration, established in 1953, is an independent agency of the federal government that assists and protects the interests of small businesses. It operates through a network of field offices and public and private organizations. The agency provides various types of loans for companies, homeowners and renters. It offers physical disaster, economic injury, and home and personal property loans. The agency also provides Internet-based educational courses, workshops, publications, information resources and learning tools. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers electronic counseling solutions. In addition, the agency operates a law library that maintains a collection of informational and reference materials.