$19.7M available for Wash. small business owners

The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced it was recently awarded $19.7 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to launch the Washington Small Business Credit Initiative — three new programs designed to spur investment and lending to businesses throughout the state.

The funds target underserved communities, businesses that have faced challenges securing conventional business loans during the economic downturn, and early-stage tech companies. The Washington State Department of Commerce anticipates every $1 the state invests will generate approximately $15 to $18 in private lending or investment, injecting as much as $300 million into the state economy through 2016. It’s estimated that through 2016, the Small Business Credit Initiative could result in 3,000 to 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The Washington State Department of Commerce plan is funded from the U.S. Treasury’s $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative, a component of the Small Business Jobs Act that Congress enacted and President Obama signed into law last year.

The three new funding streams for small business credit launched today are:

Craft3 Small Business Credit Initiative ($8.7 million) will directly provide loans from $1 to $5 million to Washington-based small businesses in underserved communities, Indian country and to women- and minority-owned businesses. Craft3 (formerly Enterprise Cascadia) will also work with the state’s network of community development financial institutions to finance smaller loans throughout the state;

Capital Access Program (CAP) Fund ($6 million), administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce, will facilitate bank loans primarily in the $50K-$100K range, to small businesses that have faced challenges to getting the capital they need to grow and support jobs during the economic downturn. The CAP program will provide additional insurance for banks to extend credit to small businesses;

W Fund ($5 million) projected to be a $25+ million venture fund organized to invest in early-stage technology, life science and information technology companies emerging from University of Washington and other leading science research centers across Washington State. Fund recipients will be headquartered in Washington State, creating jobs and economic opportunity in key growth sectors.

For more information about accessing the Washington Small Business Credit Initiative, visit http://www.choosewashington.com . For a comprehensive guide to resources to help you plan, start, run and grow a business in Washington, see http://www.business.wa.gov.