Unlocking Opportunities for Growth:
How SSBCI Supports Small Businesses
SSBCI is a $10 billion federal program that helps states support small businesses and startups that are creditworthy but unable to access the capital they need to grow or establish their businesses and create jobs.
SSBCI is not a government grant program. It is an economic stimulus program that uses federal dollars to leverage private investment in existing and start-up businesses through loan and equity programs (more details below).
The first SSBCI was established in 2010. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 reauthorized and expanded SSBCI to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship, especially in traditionally underserved communities as they emerge from the pandemic. U.S. Treasury guidelines ensure that very small businesses (VSBs) with fewer than 10 and no more than 499 employees and small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDIs) will receive critical resources to sustainably grow and thrive.
Louisiana received official U.S. Treasury approval for up to $113 million in SSBCI funds on Dec. 6, 2022. (Read the LED news release here.) Access to the full $113 million is dependent on state disbursements meeting federal funding benchmarks for VSBs and SEDIs whose access to capital is a point of emphasis.
LED, via the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), will work with private equity funds and financial institutions to disburse SSBCI funds via equity, micro lending, collateral support and loan guaranty programs.
The loan programs make it easier for businesses to borrow money by providing collateral support to borrowers, loan guarantees to lenders, and funding for micro loans.
Equity programs connect start-ups, early-stage and expanding small businesses with funds to invest in the business.
The bulk of Louisiana’s $113 million SSBCI allocation – up to $91.5 million – is allocated to the state’s two equity programs: venture capital and seed capital. Disbursement of the full amount is dependent on hitting federal funding benchmarks for very small businesses (VSBs) with fewer than 10 and no more than 499 employees and businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDIs) whose access to capital may have been limited in the past.
Like the first SSBCI, which concluded in 2017, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 authorizes the new initiative for up to seven years. The process of qualifying and opting in as a participating provider will be ongoing. LED will post all of the latest developments about SSBCI – including additions to the fund and lender lists as new providers join the program – on this website.
Application processes vary by program and provider. A high-level description of each program and its potential financial benefits is below; click on the program tile to access additional detail about eligibility requirements, program rules, application process, participating providers and frequently asked questions.