WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine secured $4.1 million in federal funding for the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) to help small businesses across Virginia access capital. Specifically, the funding will provide small business owners with technical assistance like webinars, workshops, one-on-one mentoring, job and resource fairs, and community events. The funding was awarded under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Technical Assistance Grant Program, which was reauthorized and expanded by the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan was supported by Sens. Warner and Kaine and passed the Senate with a one vote margin.
“Small businesses help keep our communities and economy running, but many of the smallest and most underserved businesses face significant barriers accessing capital,” said the senators. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan we passed, Virginia is receiving funding for the SSBCI program to help ensure entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to access capital and grow their business.”
In December 2022, Virginia received $230.4 million in American Rescue Plan funding for the SSBCI program, which will enhance access to capital for Virginia’s small businesses. The $4.1 million in funding will help ensure very small and underserved businesses receive technical assistance to assist them in applying for funding through this and other federal programs. The VSBFA anticipates providing technical assistance to 1,000 beneficiaries, resulting in 500 pitch applications submitted to the state’s SSBCI capital programs and other federal programs.
Sen. Warner, the co-chair of the Senate CDFI Caucus, has been a longtime leader in Congress for increasing access to capital for small businesses in underserved communities. To combat hemorrhaging jobs and the loss of economic opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner authored legislation to make a record $12 billion investment in CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and successfully fought to include it in the December 2021 COVID-19 relief package, which the senators voted to pass. Sen. Kaine pushed for permanent authorization of the Minority Business Development Administration, including his Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.