Participating Georgia CDFI’s, along with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, meet to discuss the success of SSBCI and next steps for the program.

Through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), underserved small businesses get more “bang for their buck” – and more bucks.

This initiative allows Georgia CDFIs, such as ACE and other small-business lenders, to partner with banks and credit unions to leverage loans to businesses. The purpose of the SSBCI program is to create jobs and stimulate small business lending in Georgia.

“Collaborations between SSBCI and ACE extend an array of opportunities to ambitious entrepreneurs who might be turned away from traditional lending institutions,” said Holly Hunt, SSBCI Program Manager at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Working together, we can fill the gaps created by the recent credit crunch, and everybody wins.”

The SSBCI program lowers the risk for both lending partners, and the customer benefits from their combined expertise as well as a blended rate scenario. For example, the bank might fund long-term debt to purchase assets or refinance, while ACE provides short-term funding for inventory, equipment or working capital. ACE also may consider “gap financing” when a customer suffers a shortfall from an unfavorable economic climate; ACE could evaluate the risk and, if appropriate, provide funds to reduce the customer’s debt to the bank.

So the SSBCI program provides a unique opportunity for financial institutions to collaborate in building relationships with small businesses that lead the way into an environment of sustainability and growth.