FloridaCommerce Press Releases

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces the Approval of Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Plan

Sep 09, 2022

~Florida’s Legislative Budget Commission has approved plan to distribute the first tranche of funding totaling $142 million~

Tallahassee, FL – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the approval of the state of Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) application by the United States Department of the Treasury (U.S. Treasury) for $488 million in funding. Additionally, on Friday, Florida’s Legislative Budget Commission approved the plan to distribute the first tranche of funding totaling $142 million for an existing small business loan program and venture capital investment program. Once the federal government disburses the funding, the approval of Florida’s application gives DEO the ability to administer various capital access, credit support, and venture capital programs designed to help Florida’s small businesses grow and thrive.

For over a year, DEO has conducted outreach with a wide range of stakeholders to including the U.S. Small Business Administration, Enterprise Florida, Inc., loan administrators, banks, credit unions, incubators, Chambers of Commerce, certified development companies, and other third-party lenders. This effort will be ongoing through the administration of the program.

“The approval of Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative application by U.S. Treasury is great news for Florida, connecting small businesses with capital, especially very small businesses and those in underserved communities, will continue diversifying and strengthening our state’s economy,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “While this is a great first step, we still have a ways to go before the state receives the funds and can get it into the hands of Florida business owners. DEO will work diligently with our partners and key stakeholders to effectively administer this award.”

“Today is a monumental day for Florida small businesses,” said Florida Deputy Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella.“The approval of the SSBCI application will provide invaluable funding and resources for small business owners throughout the state and will help those businesses grow and thrive for years to come. Enterprise Florida is proud to support such a worthwhile initiative that will have a profound impact on Florida’s residents and communities.”

Any Florida-based small business, or small business that will be located in Florida, with 500 employees or less are eligible for the program. This includes corporations, partnerships, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, nonprofits, and cooperatives. Borrowers may include state-designated charitable, religious, or other nonprofit or philanthropic institutions; government-owned corporations; consumer and marketing cooperatives; and faith-based organizations, provided the loan is for a “business purpose.”

A business purpose includes, but is not limited to: start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, and the purchase, construction, renovation, or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real-estate investment purposes.

This multi-year effort aligns with Governor Ron DeSantis’ prioritization of workforce development initiatives, a business-friendly environment, and aggressive economic growth. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 reauthorized SSBCI. It is federally administered through the U.S. Treasury, which allocates the funding to states in order to expand access to capital, promote economic resiliency, create new jobs, and increase economic opportunity.

For more information about the state of Florida SSBCI program, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/SSBCI.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org.


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