After being criticized by some lenders for dragging its feet on a program approved by Congress five months ago, the U.S. Small Business Administration said it will begin accepting refinancing applications on Feb. 28. The temporary two-year program is designed to enable small business owners to refinance their mortgage debt with a 504 loan from the SBA, instead of facing balloon payments. The program will be in effect until Sept. 27, 2012, the SBA announced in a press release. The Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 12 that because the agency hadn’t released the rules, business owners were prevented from taking advantage of the program. Congress authorized the SBA to approve up to $15 billion in loans under the program, including $7.5 billion each in fiscal 2011 and 2012, but fiscal 2011 is almost half over.