What is the SSBCI, and how does it work?
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) provides a great opportunity for entrepreneur hubs, community organizations, and local governments to help entrepreneurs access capital through a range of small business financing programs.
Established in 2010 through the Small Business Jobs Act, the SSBCI was reauthorized and expanded by the American Rescue Plan in 2021.
This significant source of funding allocated by the US Treasury to participating jurisdictions can be used to fund lending programs, equity/venture capital programs, and technical assistance initiatives to help small businesses apply for financial support.
In order to access this money, each state had to propose its own customized programs for distributing the money. Many states are choosing to split the funds into two buckets: loan programs and equity investment programs. Some states are doing one or the other.
The SSBCI totals around $9 billion in funding for capital programs. How much funding a state receives depends on the state’s population and COVID-related job loss figures, with additional funding on the table for states who target socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
The initiative also includes an additional $500 million to be used for technical assistance programs. Recipients of these dollars must allocate them to legal, accounting, or financial advisory services. This funding must be applied for separately from the standard SSBCI funding.
How can your organization access SSBCI funding?
Organizations who have already been tracking SSBCI money have an advantage on this, but if you’re hearing about this funding for the first time, you still have a chance to see some of it.
The US Treasury posted a list of all the proposed programs from jurisdictions that have been approved by the department. Find your state in the list, and look for the “Administering/Contracted Entities.” Sometimes the administering entity is the same organization as the “Jurisdiction Implementing Entity.”
For example, CO.STARTERS is headquartered in Tennessee, whose implementing entity is the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development. However, the TNECD has contracted LaunchTN to distribute the funds for the venture capital programs. If you go to LaunchTN’s website and search “SSBCI,” you’ll find a blog detailing events LaunchTN is holding all over the state regarding this funding. TNECD has more information on the state’s SSBCI plans on the “Fund Tennessee” website.
Of course, every state is different in how they’re approaching the distribution of SSBCI funding, but attending an events or reaching out to state program managers are good ways to learn how your organization can get involved with SSBCI.
If your state’s administering entity isn’t holding events, that’s okay! Find the point of contact for the funds or for the organization’s entrepreneurship initiatives in general. They should point you in the right direction.
Accessing SSBCI funding takes a bit of detective work to find the funding, but once you find the key partners for your state, they should be happy to talk to you about how your organization can get involved—and potentially access this exciting funding opportunity.
Learn more about how you can take advantage of this exciting opportunity at our upcoming webinar with Eric Cromwell, who is a Subject Matter Expert on the contractor team supporting the US Treasury Department with SSBCI to ensure these funds are effectively distributed!