Treasury publishes first SSBCI FAQs

Yesterday, Treasury released the first clarifications for its State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) guidance. These frequently asked questions (FAQs) are intended to help states understand the program rules as they prepare their applications by the Feb. 11, 2022 deadline. The primary clarifications to rules affecting investment programs relate to how Treasury will define a “venture capital fund” and that states will most likely not be able to use SSBCI funds to become limited partners in funds that have already closed. Several high-priority issues, including how states will define a company location and the timing of “socially disadvantaged” business determinations, remain unaddressed.

Making the most of SSBCI

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will be meeting with SSTI members on Nov. 22 to discuss the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). States, venture development organizations and numerous other tech-based economic development entities around the country are looking for information on how to best use the program to effectively support small business capital access in their regions. SSTI has produced multiple resources to aid these efforts, including an introductory video that is available to the general public.

Treasury releases SSBCI guidance

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released long-awaited guidance on the new implementation of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The rules provide preliminary guidance to states, territories and Tribal governments on permissible uses of $9.3 billion in funds to support small business capital access. SSBCI 2.0, which was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, provides $2.5 billion of the total for businesses owned and controlled by socially- and economically-disadvantaged individuals — these rules are the first time Treasury has defined these businesses. Treasury is expected to release additional guidance and clarifications in the coming weeks, and SSTI is working with our members to interpret the guidance and determine how the rules will affect optimal SSBCI strategies going forward.

Useful Stats: SSBCI allocations by category and state

This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats examines the expected allocation of approximately $8.5 billion in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding by state and allocation category based on the Department of the Treasury’s recent guidance update. For the first time, these allocation amounts include how much a state is receiving for the program’s new funds to support businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI).

Unicorn with initial round of government-sponsored funding goes public

Benson Hill, a unicorn (a startup valued over $1 billion) that closed its deal to become a public company last week, was able to leverage several sources of public capital to accelerate its early success. The St. Louis-based agricultural technology company uses machine learning and genome editing to facilitate the production of sustainable and healthy crops. Founded in 2012, Benson Hill has utilized state-sponsored venture capital and federal grants to reach its funding goals.

Arkansas’s economic recovery strategy has wider applicability

Whether or not your state embraced strict measures in an attempt to reduce virus spread, the current pandemic has created the need for reflection and revision of how each of us go about our lives. The same opportunity has arisen for the public and private sectors to rethink how they engage in many core functions.  Civic leaders in Arkansas did just that and today released a strategic plan with recommendations to guide economic development in the new era.  Its central themes, including strong focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent, could have broader applicability to other states as we move forward.

SSTI paper on capital access, SSBCI 2.0

SSTI is making Addressing Capital Access in 2021, which had previously been available only to SSTI member organizations, publicly available. The paper is focused on helping states and their partners make the most of the opportunity presented by the newly-refunded State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0), which provides $10 billion to states to support capital access. Topics covered include a review of SSBCI 1.0, the current landscape for debt and investment access, and recommendations for states developing programs in 2021.

Treasury posts SSBCI timeline

This week, Treasury posted key dates for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a $10 billion program funded in the American Rescue Plan Act. Per its website, Treasury intends to release the amount of funding available to each state by April 12; states will be required to submit a letter of intent to participate by May 10; and, final applications from states will be due by Dec. 11. The amount of funding available to Tribal governments will be released on May 10, with notices of intent to apply due June 11. The information was provided as part of a refurbished web presence for SSBCI that also moved the original program reports and guidelines to a new location.

$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act boosts help for innovation

The American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion spending package to address the ongoing health and economic impacts of COVID-19, was signed into law today. The legislation includes several initiatives that could strengthen regional innovation economies. Most notable among these is the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), $3 billion for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and $350 billion for state and local government relief.


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