State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is a multi-year Federal program administered by the US Treasury, providing a combination of credit and investment programs for existing small businesses and start-ups, as well as technical assistance for small businesses applying for SSBCI funding and other government programs. The state of Vermont was approved for approximately $58 million over the nine-year program life, to be awarded in three equal consecutive tranches as funds are deployed.

The program is aimed at providing expanded access to capital for small businesses, not for profit, and agricultural enterprises emerging from the pandemic, building ecosystems of opportunity and entrepreneurship, and creating high-quality jobs. Separate allocations have been established by Treasury for Very Small Businesses (under 10 employees) and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI) as defined by the program rules. 

Vermont will be operating two primary programs under SSBCI:

Loan Participation Program – VEDA is the administering entity for the program, using SSBCI funding to enhance our existing lending programs. We will continue to work with our lending partners, often in a subordinate position, to provide financing necessary to meet the borrower’s needs. These are loans, not grants, and must be repaid under standard repayment terms, however the SSBCI funding may allow lower initial interest rate or lower required borrower contribution in an SSBCI eligible transaction.

SSBCI eligibility includes:

  • Total project financing is less than $20 million.
  • The borrower has fewer than 750 employees worldwide.
  • The loan is for business purposes.
  • The loan is not for passive real estate investment. (Note: SSBCI allows owner-occupants to lease to non-owner tenants up to 49% for existing buildings and up to 40% for new construction projects.)
  • Other funding for the same purpose cannot include loans guaranteed by SBA or USDA-RD, or an SBA 504 loan. (Note: borrower can have SSBCI and SBA /RD loans for different purposes, for example SSBCI for real estate and SBA equipment loan.)
  • Loans for speculative activities, gambling, pyramid sales and activities prohibited by the federal or state law are not eligible.
  • Refinancing is allowed if 1) the refinanced loan or other debt is 150% or more of the previous loan balance; 2) the refinancing results in a 30% or greater reduction in fee adjusted APR for the term of the new loan; and 3) the loan proceeds will not be used to finance an extraordinary dividend or distribution.

For more information on SSBCI eligible projects please contact a VEDA lender at - Contact Us

Venture Capital Program – VEDA intends to enter agreements with fund managers to deploy SSBCI investment capital across Vermont. Final agreements are still in progress, for updates subscribe to the State of VT Department of Economic Development newsletter here.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), in its capacity as the implementing entity for the State of Vermont, is seeking proposals to support the management of venture capital funds which will be allocated to the State of Vermont through the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act, which provided $10 billion to fund the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).  SSBCI will fund state, territory, and Tribal government small business credit support and investment programs.

VEDA is requesting proposals from organizations that have the capability and desire to serve as a fund manager. These funds are intended to increase the amount of investment capital provided to new Vermont companies or to existing firms for the purpose of expansion. These funds are viewed as a catalyst to leverage private investment, increase business development, and the diversification of Vermont’s economy. VEDA may select more than one fund manager to manage up to $12.5 million of remaining funds for the venture capital program.

Interested parties can view the request for proposal here. The deadline for proposal submission is April 1, 2024 at 1:00 PM EST.