Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania has been awarded nearly $268 million in American Rescue Plan funding, through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), to spur small business success and job creation opportunities across the commonwealth.
“Supporting our small businesses and boosting Pennsylvania’s world-class business environment continues to be one of my top priorities and I thank President Biden for sharing that commitment,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding from the Biden Administration is a significant investment in Pennsylvania’s future that will be used to empower our small businesses and generate new jobs.”
The American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded the SSBCI, which was originally established by Congress in 2010 to provide loans and investments to underserved small businesses. As part of this reauthorization, $10 billion in funding is being allocated by SSBCI to states, including $267.8 million to Pennsylvania.
“This is an historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation through the American Rescue Plan that will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “I’m excited to see how SSBCI funds will promote equitable economic growth across the country.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the new funds to eligible economic development partners who will then administer the funding to qualifying businesses in the form of equity investments and loans.
Pennsylvania will operate three different programs. The first two programs – equity capital investments and venture capital investments – have been allocated a combined total of $142 million. Direct equity investments will be made in seed and early-stage technology companies in Pennsylvania through longstanding partners Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Life Sciences Greenhouses, as well as venture capital investments in new funds under the management of underserved venture capital firms.
The third program is a loan participation program that has been allocated more than $125 million. It will extend loans of no more than 50 percent of total financing to small business borrowers through certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) and community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
“I’m very pleased to see these ARPA funds allocated to Pennsylvania,” said DCED Acting Secretary Neil Weaver. “Our partners will use this funding to help small businesses, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, and businesses in the innovation and technology sector.”
Detailed guidelines will be available soon and eligible partners should visit the Pennsylvania SSBCI website for additional information as it becomes available. DCED expects to begin distributing the SSBCI funds to economic development partners this Fall.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Wolf has supported small businesses in the commonwealth. In 2018, the Wolf Administration launched the PA Business One Stop Shop which serves as the go-to resource for planning, registering, operating, and growing a small business in Pennsylvania.
Additional support includes:
- The Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority, which provides low-interest loans to businesses owned and operated by ethnic minorities.
- The Small Diverse Business Capital Access Program, which provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to small diverse businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs within the commonwealth.
- Support to small businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by previously allocating $225 million for Small Business Assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.