April 13, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury will allocate at least $56,234,176 to Maine businesses through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI is designed to leverage additional funding sources for small businesses, and is expected to help provide at least $503 million in capital to support Maine small businesses and entrepreneurs as the state continues its recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The program was reauthorized and funded through the American Rescue Plan, which Senator King voted in favor of in March.
“For more than a year, Maine’s small businesses have faced down an endless stream of challenges that has forced them to constantly adjust, overhaul or flat-out push pause on their business models,” said Senator King. “Now, as vaccinations continue to roll out in Maine and across the country, it is vital that small businesses and startups have access to the capital they need to lay the foundation for long-term success. The American Rescue Plan’s commitment to support small businesses through the SSBCI will help our local businesses get back on track, and I urge all of our state’s eligible small business owners to review the program’s upcoming rollout to determine if it can help their business grow and thrive in Maine.”
“Maine small businesses have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic with grit and determination, often reinventing how they do business to keep their employees and customers safe,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As we work to get our economy back on track, protect our businesses, and protect the livelihoods of Maine people, it is crucial that Maine business owners have access to capital that will help them recover and thrive. The Small Business Credit Initiative, along with the private funding it leverages, will be an important part of that effort. I encourage all Maine business owners who are interested in this opportunity to contact the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, which stands ready to help.”
“This is a monumental funding opportunity for Maine’s innovators, startups and small businesses,” said Brian Whitney, President of the Maine Technology Institute. “The beauty of the SSBCI program – in addition to its substantial funding – is that it offers considerable flexibility to the states to design programs that best align with their economic priorities and the specific needs of businesses. We look forward to working with our ecosystem partners to help deploy the funding to accelerate Maine’s post pandemic economic recovery.”
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) initially operated from 2011 to 2017, after being signed into law through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 by President Barack Obama. On March 6, 2021, the SSBCI was reauthorized and funded with $10 billion through the American Rescue Plan. The SSBCI leverages federal dollars to provide better access to credit for small businesses and entrepreneurs in regions underserved by venture capital. Under the original program, each dollar of federal investment produced $8.95 of additional small business credit.
Senator King has applauded the immense impacts that American Rescue Plan funding will have on Maine. Last month, he commended the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s official announcement that 18 community health centers have received $40,964,875 in funds through the American Rescue Plan to support their tireless efforts against the largest health threat to face the U.S. in a century. Senator King highlighted the funds as an essential step to bring the virus under control and address the economic and societal costs in his op-ed in the Portland Press Herald following the bill's passage, and emphasized the importance of the legislation’s broadband funding in an op-ed for the Bangor Daily News. Additionally, Senator King applauded the inclusion of a $28.6 billion fund specifically designed to support restaurants struggling due to the pandemic in the American Rescue Plan, a provision that mirrors the fund created in the King-backed RESTAURANTS Act.