State Small Business Credit Initiative Microloan Program Rollout Features $5.3 million In Financing For Nevada’s Small Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gregory Bortolin,
Director of Communications
grbortolin@goed.nv.gov, (775) 687-9917

February 13, 2023

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada is the first state in the nation to launch a novel Microloan program under the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) featuring a newly developed refinancing mechanism to strengthen Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) lending to small businesses.
“I pledged in my State of the State address that my administration will restore Nevada’s reputation as a pro-business, pro-development state,” Governor Joe Lombardo said. “I think we can all agree Nevada should be the most entrepreneurial-friendly state in the nation.”
Nevada’s SSBCI on February 9th presented at the Nevada Community Development Investment and Lending Forum in North Las Vegas hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Forum focused on the equitable support of small businesses and Nevada’s Microloan Program, Battle Born Growth Microloan, was formally announced publicly.
Last October, Nevada’s SSBCI Program application was approved for up to $112.9 million and Nevada has received its initial tranche of $35 million. It is overseen by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and contains a total of five component programs.

Battle Born Growth Microloan, which will receive $5.3 million for the first three-year tranche and nearly $16 million in total, works to support small businesses from traditionally underserved communities. It partners with mission-driven lenders such as CDFIs.

The participating mission-driven lenders have a history of working with diverse entrepreneurs across a range of varying experience levels. Because these organizations prioritize impact, they oftentimes have more flexible credit and collateral requirements than other financing options and offer more favorable terms than predatory lenders. An economic impact analysis conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) estimates a total financial impact of $180 million for this 10-year $16 million program.
Small Businesses seeking less than $250,000 in financing are encouraged to consult the dedicated website at https://nvsmallbiz.org/microloans/. The website contains a matching platform created in partnership with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF). On this platform small businesses will be matches with participating lenders.

At the launch, the following CDFIs and community lenders are participating: Rural Nevada Development Corporation (RNDC), MoFi, NDC, CRF, and Access Community Capital. The Nevada Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be providing free assistance with credit counseling, financial statements, business planning, general business guidance, and more. Lenders will be offering fixed-rate loans up to $250,000 with rates from currently 8.75%-11.75% depending on terms. Length of loans can range from between three and six years.

“This is a groundbreaking structure benefitting Nevada’s small businesses seeking smaller amounts of funding particularly businesses from communities that have been underserved by traditional lenders in the past”, said Karsten Heise, Senior Director Strategic Programs & Innovation at GOED and SSBCI Program Administrator. “Being able to offer an online matching platform represents a major step forward for Nevada’s small businesses to find financing and support options easily and effectively.”

“This is a great opportunity for Nevada to increase access to nontraditional capital for our rural small businesses”, said Mary Kerner Chief Executive Officer of Rural Nevada Development Corporation. “RNDC is a mission driven organization specializing in lending to people, projects and small businesses that may not fit standard underwriting criteria. We are excited to be participating in deploying these funds in the communities we serve”.

“NDC Community Impact Loan Fund is honored and pleased to be participating as an originating lender in Nevada’s Battle Born Microloan Fund”, said Ann Finnegan NDC Community Impact Loan Fund President. “Lending to very small businesses and to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals is the core of our mission and the focus of our lending and technical assistance services. As a long-time economic development partner for Nevada small businesses, we are excited for the program launch and look forward to the partnership”.

“Nevada entrepreneurs have demonstrated tremendous resilience in the face of an uncertain economy,” said Keith Rachey, executive vice president and chief impact and strategy officer, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF). “We are proud to participate in this collaborative effort with the State of Nevada and local CDFIs to connect more small businesses with a history of underrepresentation to affordable, fixed-rate capital and advisory resources.”
“The Microloan Program was built by and for non-profit community lenders so they can increase their capacity to serve the state’s un-banked small businesses” said Beth Bafford, Vice President of Strategy at Calvert Impact, the state’s implementing partner. “This is a critical investment in the community lending ecosystem that will drastically increase access to credit for businesses who are often left behind. Nevada is the first state in the country to leverage their State Small Business Credit Initiative dollars to launch this innovative program focused on meeting the needs of the smallest businesses. We applaud them for their leadership.”

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About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.

About the State Small Business Credit Initiative
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act, which reauthorized and funded the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The new version of the SSBCI program provides a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to empower small businesses to access capital needed to invest in job-creating opportunities as the country emerges from the pandemic. The funds will also support recipient jurisdictions in promoting American entrepreneurship and democratizing access to startup capital across the country, including in underserved communities.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) oversees the Nevada SSBCI Program. It is operated by Nevada Battle Born Growth Escalator, Inc. a corporation for public benefit and 501(c)(3) non-profit created by GOED in 2016.

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