State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Fundi


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Congressional interest in small business access to capital has increased in recent years because of concerns that small businesses might be prevented from accessing sufficient capital to enable them to create and retain jobs and assist in the economic recovery. Some, including President Obama, have argued that the federal government should provide additional resources to assist small businesses in acquiring capital necessary to start, continue, or expand operations and create jobs. Others worry about the long-term adverse economic effects of spending programs that increase the federal deficit. They advocate business tax reduction, reform of financial credit market regulation, and federal fiscal restraint as the best means to assist small businesses and create jobs. During the 111th Congress, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, provided the Small Business Administration (SBA) additional funding and enhanced several SBA lending programs in an effort to assist small businesses access capital. The act also authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI provides funding, allocated by formula and distributed in one-third increments, to states, territories, and eligible municipalities (hereinafter referred to as states) to expand existing or create new state small business investment programs, including state capital access programs, collateral support programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital programs. In most instances, the initial round of funding (called a tranche) took place in FY2011. Most states received their second tranche during FY2013. As of June 30, 2014, 47 states had received at least two tranches and 20 had received their third and final tranche. The remaining states are expected to receive their third and final tranche during FY2015. SSBCI participants are expected to leverage their SSBCI funds to generate new small business lending that is at least 10 times the amount of their SSBCI funds. Forty-seven states; American Samoa; the District of Columbia; Guam; the Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; the U.S. Virgin Islands; Anchorage, Alaska; two consortiums of municipalities in North Dakota; and a consortium of municipalities in Wyoming currently participate in the program. The Obama Administration has recommended that another $1.5 billion round of funding take place, with applications accepted in FY2015 and state allotments provided in one-half increments starting in FY2015 and continuing through FY2018. The Administration has proposed that $1 billion be competitively awarded to states and $500 million awarded \"by a need-based formula based on economic factors such as job losses and pace of economic recovery.\" Legislation with provisions similar to the Administration\'s proposal has been introduced in both the House and the Senate (H.R. 4556 and S. 2285).