Feds approve Wisconsin request for stimulus for small businesses

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced that the U.S. Treasury Department had approved Wisconsin’s application to participate in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which was created by President Barack Obama’s first rounds of economic stimulus.
Wisconsin will receive $22.4 million for small business lending programs to help create private sector jobs.
The SSBCI was established when Obama signed the federal Small Business Jobs Act of September 2010 into law. The initiative was created to make capital more accessible to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The SSBCI bolsters state programs that support small business lending. The Act enhances and extends several of the tax incentives that were originally included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Based on 10-to-1 private match, the funds are expected to support at least $224 million in new lending in Wisconsin.
“Small business is a key to private sector job creation,” said Walker, who did not mention Obama or the stimulus in the announcement. “Securing participation in the State Small Business Credit Initiative will help provide more small businesses the access to capital they need to grow and create jobs.”
“Many small businesses are still struggling to access the capital they need to invest, expand and create new jobs,” said U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. “These critical funds will provide a powerful incentive for lending to small businesses, spurring additional job creation and further strengthening our nation’s economic recovery.”
Any state that establishes a new, or has an existing support program for small businesses was eligible to apply. Under the Initiative, Wisconsin will use U.S. Treasury funds for programs that leverage private lending to finance creditworthy small businesses that are not receiving loans needed to expand and create jobs.
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) worked with the Wisconsin Department of Administration to complete the application for the state, and WHEDA will administer the program funds.
WHEDA executive director Wyman Winston said, “To demonstrate our strong support of Governor Walker’s ambitious job creation goal, WHEDA has greatly expanded its focus on economic development. It’s exciting to know that these funds will support WHEDA’s efforts to assist small business spur job creation.”
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) also is expected to receive a portion of the Treasury funds.
The funds will be used to support the expansion of the state’s Capital Access Program, the creation of the WHEDA Guarantee Program and the creation of the Wisconsin Equity Fund, a venture capital program.

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