New funding allows Georgia to provide loan assistance to small business owners

The money for the state of Georgia comes from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Grant, a $10 billion federal program to expand access to capital through business loans. (Pixabay)

Georgia is receiving just under $200 million in funds over the next 10 years to support entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional bank loans. 

The money comes from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Grant, a $10 billion federal program to expand access to capital through business loans. 

“If you’re a new business, if you don’t have a personal business history, you don’t have a lot of assets for collateral, it’s challenging for banks to lend money,” said Allan Adams, the state director for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. 

The center is a sub-recipient of the grant, which Adams says will be used to expand its services and to assist those seeking loans.

“Lenders oftentimes don’t have time to help with people that are more challenging. So they’ll send them to us,” said Adams.

The University of Georgia is receiving over $6 million of the federal funds to expand its Small Business Development Center; the university states it will use the funds to expand the business development center, adding one-on-one business consulting, financing training programs and credit repair guidance to its list of services.

“This program is giving some CDFIs or lenders the opportunity to expand operations in rural areas and other parts of the state where they could not provide loans in the past,” said Carolina Ramon, who works in Minority Business Development for the center.

The center also plans to increase the number of advisors who provide assistance with accounting, marketing and obtaining capital. In addition, according to Ramon, business owners can come to one of their 18 locations to learn more about the loan program.

“If they are not ready for the loan because they need to work on their credit, we will offer all their credit repair classes.”

According to the Federal Reserve Banks’ Small Business Credit Survey, 59% of small businesses reported being in fair or poor financial condition.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs is working with lenders to roll out these loans to small businesses around the state.