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Treasury Issues a Request for Information Regarding the State Small Business Credit Initiative

The Treasury Department has published a request for information (RFI) regarding the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Originally established in 2010 and previously active through 2017, the SSBCI is intended to increase availability of credit for small business. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law which authorized the Treasury Department to provide up to $10 billion in support under the SSBCI for small business capital and technical assistance programs as a response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the SSBCI provides funding for two program categories – capital access programs (CAPs) and other credit support programs (OCSPs).  CAPs provide portfolio insurance for business loans by setting up loan loss reserve funds for participating financial institutions. OCSPs include, but are not limited to, collateral support programs, loan participation and guarantee programs, and venture capital and other venture financing programs.

Through this RFI, the Treasury Department is seeking feedback on the SSBCI program in order to: (1) assist Treasury in developing program design and guidance; and (2) inform Treasury’s allocation of technical assistance funding to states, territories, and tribal governments, the Minority Business Development Agency, and other programs. In particular, Treasury is interested in comments addressing such topics as: (1) potential changes to the SSBCI’s policy guidelines, which were last updated in 2014, in order to expand access to capital for small businesses in the current economic environment; (2) potential changes to the SSBCI’s policy guidelines to promote access to capital for diverse businesses, including businesses owned and controlled by socially- and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDIs) and very small businesses; (3) how to ensure effective use of technical assistance funds to support SEDI businesses’ and very small businesses’ access to capital; and (4) the data Treasury should require from states, territories, and tribal governments in regular reporting on their performance and activities.

Responses to this RFI are due by June 4, 2021 and can be submitted here.

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