FloridaCommerce Press Releases

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Availability of $142 Million to Fuel Small Business Growth

Jan 25, 2023

~ Five Programs Available to Expand Business Development and Continue Florida’s Economic Growth ~

Tallahassee, FL – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that $142 million in new capital is available for small businesses and startups through Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). SSBCI, administered by DEO in partnership with Enterprise Florida, Inc., has five programs to serve small businesses that may not otherwise have access to the capital needed to grow their businesses, including very small businesses and sole proprietors. This multi-year initiative is part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ large-scale effort to prioritize workforce development, cultivate a business-friendly environment, and stimulate aggressive economic growth.

To be eligible, businesses must be Florida-based and have 750 employees or less. Funding through Florida’s SSBCI programs may be used to fund start-up costs, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, and the purchase, construction, renovation, or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business. DEO encourages Florida-based small businesses to sign up for updates on funding opportunities through SSBCI.

“Florida’s SSBCI program connects Florida’s small businesses with opportunities for new capital that they may not otherwise be able to access,” said DEO Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey. “DEO is proud to support the Governor’s mission by enabling local lenders to put funds into the hands of deserving small business owners in underserved communities and stimulate their local economies.”

“Enterprise Florida is proud to partner with DEO to provide Florida’s small businesses with the resources they need to succeed,” said Florida Deputy Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. “Florida’s small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and are crucial to our state’s success, and we are honored to continue supporting them through Florida’s SSBCI program.”

In September 2022, DEO announced the approval of the state SSBCI application by the United States Department of the Treasury (U.S. Treasury) for $488 million in funding.  Funding is available from U.S. Treasury in three tranches, and the first tranche of funding - $142 million – is ready for deployment.

Funding through the SSBCI program can be used serve small businesses of all sizes and stages of development. Available programs include:

  • Collateral Support Program – Enables financing that might otherwise be unavailable due to a collateral shortfall. This credit enhancement uses public resources to encourage private lenders to lend money to businesses by providing a cash deposit as collateral for a business loan or credit facility.
  • Venture Capital Program – Targeted investment strategy implemented on an appropriate scale that can attract capable investment managers to support Florida small businesses and create value. DEO will work with Enterprise Florida to secure partnerships with public entities and investment managers.
  • Loan Participation Program – SSBCI funds are used alongside private funds to support a loan to a borrower. The SSBCI funds may be used as a companion loan, or the funds may purchase a portion of the loan made by the private lender.
  • Loan Guarantee Program – Provides a private lender with a short-term, partial guarantee to support a loan or line-of-credit for eligible small businesses.
  • Capital Access Program – A pooled loan insurance program where a private lender originates a loan, and the borrower and lender contribute a percentage of the loan per eligible small business, which is then matched by SSBCI funding.

To provide lenders and statewide partners with more information on SSBCI programs, DEO will host a series of roundtable discussions. To receive updates on upcoming roundtables and SSBCI programs, sign up for updates.

Lenders and investment managers interested in partnering with the SSBCI program to serve local businesses can email SSBCI@deo.myflorida.com or reach Enterprise Florida at vvaldez@enterpriseflorida.com.

About EFI

Enterprise Florida (EFI), the state’s lead commerce agency, serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economy through private-sector job creation. At the forefront of economic development in Florida, EFI is responsible for rolling out the red carpet to business and industry and supporting industry clusters by serving as a lead partner connecting businesses with state and local resources. As a public-private partnership of Florida’s business and government leaders, EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, business growth through international trade and exporting programs, promotion of the sports industry, promotion and protection of Florida’s military bases, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners, including DEO, to showcase Florida as the leading state for business.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.


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