Delaware Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced the approval of Delaware’s state plan for $60.9 million in funding under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI is a program through the U.S. Department of Treasury that was reauthorized under the American Rescue Plan Act to support small businesses and entrepreneurship and expand access to capital.
Delaware will operate four programs: a capital access program, a loan participation program, and two equity/venture capital programs. The loan participation program will offer up to 50 percent participation in small business loans for equipment and working capital. The Delaware Early Stage VC Program will support the formation of new VC funds with Delaware-based managers, focused on investments in underserved startups. The Delaware Accelerator and Seed Capital Program will support an estimated three accelerator programs, supporting idea-stage startups, including those developed by underserved owners and managers.
“This new funding will be another resource to strengthen small businesses and create good jobs up and down our state,” Governor Carney said in a statement. “It will promote entrepreneurship and provide more resources for early-stage incubation programs. It will also help diverse businesses access capital and leverage additional private dollars that companies need to grow. I want to thank President Biden, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and members of our congressional delegation for making these new resources available.”
“The role of government is to create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation, and the State Small Business Credit Initiative is a great example of creating a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs to be able to compete with their bigger counterparts to get their business off the ground,” Sen. Carper said. “This is one more tool in the toolbox that is available for small businesses to grow and thrive.”
“Tens of millions of dollars to help small Delaware businesses get loans, support underserved entrepreneurs, provide seed capital for cutting-edge startups — these funds will provide a critical lifeline for the small businesses that make up the backbone of the First State’s economy,” said Sen. Coons.“My Small Business Access to Capital Act, which was enacted in the American Rescue Plan, revived a proven program to provide small businesses with the capital they need to grow, and I couldn’t be happier to finally bring these funds to the Delaware businesses that need this help the most.”
“Today’s announcement is another demonstration of the strong commitment the Biden Administration has to investing in small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country,” Rep. Blunt Rochester said. “I am thrilled that Delaware is going to receive over $60 million under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, funding made possible through the historic American Rescue Plan Act that I voted for, to support critical initiatives including a capital access program, a loan participation program, and two equity/venture capital programs. With this funding, small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved areas will have expanded access to capital, be able to grow their businesses, and help bolster our local economy all at the same time.”
The American Rescue Plan Act, championed by Senators Carper and Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, reauthorized and expanded SSBCI, and was highly successful in increasing access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The new SSBCI builds on this successful model by providing nearly $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship, especially in traditionally underserved communities as they emerge from the pandemic. This includes $2.5 billion in funding and incentives to support underserved businesses. SSBCI funding is expected to catalyze up to $10 of private investment for every $1 of SSBCI capital funding, amplifying the effects of this funding and providing small business owners with the resources they need to sustainably grow and thrive.
In January, the Census Bureau released data which showed that over the last two years Americans have applied to start 10.5 million new businesses, making 2021 and 2022 the strongest two years on record for new business applications. The investments being made through SSBCI are a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s strategy to keep this small business boom going by expanding access to capital and by providing entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed. The work Treasury has done through SSBCI’s implementation process to help these funds reach traditionally underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs will continue to be critical to ensuring the small business boom lifts up communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.