Strengthening Utah Small Businesses With USBCI
In 2023, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity built and set up a new federally funded program to reinforce small businesses throughout the state, particularly emphasizing underserved and rural communities. The new program is the Utah Small Business Credit Initiative (USBCI).
USBCI, financed by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Program under the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, is a strategic response to the difficulties faced by small businesses in securing necessary capital.
With $69 million allocated to Utah from the U.S. Treasury, the initiative seeks to invigorate Utah’s entrepreneurial landscape. The Treasury and the state of Utah signed an agreement in November 2022, and USBCI program funds are available in tranches through 2030.
Utah anticipates the program will unlock about $690 million in private investments, substantially impacting the state’s small business sector.
The USBCI program will expand access to capital for Utah business owners in underserved communities, with a target of 29% of program funds allocated to businesses owned by women and culturally, economically, and geographically diverse entrepreneurs.
The program is most helpful to small businesses that cannot access traditional bank loans due to limited equity or time in operation.
USBCI contracts with Utah lenders, including:
- Community development financial institutions (CDFIs)
- Credit unions
- Economic development organizations with revolving loan funds
- Nonprofit lenders
Small businesses go to USBCI-contracted lenders to apply for and secure loans in partnership with the state.
Businesses must apply through an enrolled lender to participate in the USBCI program. Because this program works with lenders’ private capital, it reduces but does not eliminate traditional lending requirements. Program requirements include:
- Business plan/intended use
- Financial projections
- Tax returns
- Business and personal credit scores
- USBCI Certifications (listed below)
USBCI-enrolled lenders will work with borrowers individually to evaluate their eligibility for USBCI programs.
USBCI is more than a financial program; it’s a pledge to nurture and support the growth of Utah’s small businesses. By improving access to capital, the initiative helps drive business expansion, realize the dreams of entrepreneurs, and fortify the state’s economic base.
For more information on how the USBCI can benefit your business, especially if you are in an underserved area, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USBCI Enrolled Lenders