Most small businesses have heard of the PPP and EIDL programs for COVID assistance. However, there is a new federal program called SSBCI (State Small Business Credit Initiative) . In July 2022, the United States Treasury has approved Connecticut to receive up to $119 .5 million in federal funding. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the SSBCI in Connecticut aims to help underserved and clean environmentally focused companies recover from the pandemic.

  

Funding availability

  

So far, the state of CT has received just the approval for the $119MHowever, the actual rollout of these COVID business relief funds will occur within about 12 months following this approval. 

 

Benefits

  

The SSBCI funds will spur areas such as:

  

  • Small business growth

  • Job creation

  • Green technology development

  • Economic equity

 

 

Who qualifies for SSBCI funding

  

In Connecticut, SSBCI funding may be awarded to two types of small businesses

  

  1. Underserved or underrepresented companies

  2. Environmentally friendly startups (i.e., within the sectors of clean energy, climate resiliency and manufacturing)

 

Who provides SSBCI funds in Connecticut

  

Connecticut Innovations will administer the $119.5 M approved SSBCI funds to qualified businesses. Regarded as the state’s “venture capital arm,” CT Innovations is the leading source of support and financing for innovative and growing companies.

 

According to CEO, Matthes McCooe, “This funding allows us to support underrepresented founders and allow us to grow, attract and retain the most promising green tech companies in Connecticut.”

  

For the SSBCI distribution within the state Connecticut will have two funds set up for both eligible business categories:

 

1.The Connecticut Future Fund

For underserved small businesses across different sectors

 

2. The Climate Tech (CT Fund)

For early-stage green start-up companies in the sectors of clean energy, climate resiliency and clean manufacturing

 

Existing Connecticut Innovations funds will also supplement both funds. Other SSBCI allocations will help support certain CT Innovation programs, such as bioscience and advanced manufacturing initiatives.

  

Connecticut Innovations also plans to use funding dollars to include equity investments and early-stage venture debt as part of their investment efforts.

 

How to get funded

  

If you’d like to know if your company is eligible for this federal COVID relief business funding, fill out Connecticut Innovations inquiry form for the SSBCI program.

 

At the bottom, consider providing details such as:

  

  • Short description about your company

  • Whether or not your business represents an underserved group

  • Whether or not your company focuses on an eligible green sector (noted above)

 

Also ask questions such as:

  

  • What you need to apply (e.g., tax returns, bank statements, financial records etc.)

  • What SSBCI programs you qualify for

 

For more information about SSBCI guidelines and the program’s contact information for Connecticut, see the following links:

  

Connecticut is looking forward to the growth that the state anticipates from this program. According to DECD Commissioner, David Lehman, “As soon as ARPA became law, DECD and our partners at Connecticut Innovations have been hard at work planning how to optimize our use of new federal funding and we are now ready to hit the ground running with this new award.”