Govt. Justice: West Virginia Receives Over $72.1 Million to Expand WV’s Access to Capital Program
CHARLESTON, (WV) — Governor Jim Justice announced that West Virginia will receive up to $72.1 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury under a new round of the Small Business Credit Initiative from (SSBCI) to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship, especially in traditionally underserved communities as they emerge from the pandemic.
“From the day I walked through the door as governor, I have tried to make West Virginia the best state in the country to pursue the American dream – a place where success and prosperity are within reach. This is an incredible amount of funding that will allow so many of our business owners to achieve this dream,” Governor Justice said. “It will also help people in our state who may have a great idea, but haven’t had the capital to turn that idea into a business. Giving a helping hand to these kinds of people will help us continue our efforts to diversify our economy and move our entire state forward in new ways. and exciting. I couldn’t be happier.
The U.S. bailout reauthorized and expanded the SSBCI, originally established in 2010. The West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP), which manages funding for the SSBCI under the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT), has an outstanding track record in improving access to capital for small businesses and traditionally underserved entrepreneurs in West Virginia. This additional funding from SSBCI is expected to catalyze up to $10 of private investment for every dollar of capital funding from SSBCI, amplifying the effects of this funding and providing small business owners with the resources they need to grow and thrive in sustainable way.
The WVJIT has submitted a plan to the Treasury on how it will use this SSBCI allocation to provide financing to small businesses, including through venture capital programs, collateral support programs and subordinated debt programs. West Virginia’s plan is one of five states so far to receive Treasury approval.
West Virginia will operate a seed capital co-investment fund with more than half of its allocation, increasing small businesses’ access to venture capital in a state without a resident venture capital firm and an annual investment average in venture capital well below the national average per capita. The fund will focus on expanding access to capital for underserved communities by providing equity investments matched with private capital from angel investors or venture capital funds. National and regional non-profit organizations, as well as community development financial institutions (CDFIs), will partner with community banks and CDFIs to use the remaining balance of funds for two loan programs. These loan programs will serve West Virginia businesses in need of commercial loans.
An announcement will be made when funds become available later this year.
Since its inception in 2010 with just $13.2 million in SSBCI funding, WVCAP has supported 53 loans and investments and generated nearly $91 million in private matching, with more than 1,100 jobs created or maintained.
“I have said many times that I am not a politician, I am a businessman. I have been a businessman all my life. I understand how much of an impact our small businesses have on our state’s economy. They are our foundation,” Governor Justice said. “As governor, I tried with my whole being to make West Virginia the best place to own or operate a business, and people are finally taking notice. Thanks to our efforts, more and more companies have sprung up all over the place and they are bringing all kinds of benefits with them. Every month we set record after record of job growth, and our state’s revenue surplus has never been higher. Our state is truly on the rocket ride that I promised, and this announcement will allow us to press the accelerator even further.
“The West Virginia Economic Development Authority is thrilled to work directly with the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust and other program participants statewide to provide more than $70 million in alternative financing opportunities to our small business communities. and to our entrepreneurs through the West Virginia Capital Access Program administered by WVJIT,” said Kris Warner, executive director of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority. $600 million legislature to WVEDA, puts the state of West Virginia in an unprecedented fiscal position to help grow and diversify our state’s economy.”
“This announcement from the U.S. Treasury regarding SSBCI funding for the State of West Virginia is the culmination of months of work by our team, the folks in the Governor’s office, members of the Department of Commerce and the Department of Economic Development, the WVCAP Advisory Committee, and stakeholders in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through this collective effort, West Virginia was one of the first states to be approved by the U.S. Treasury,” said Andy Zulauf, Executive Director of West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust “We have the highest expectations for positive results with this new SSBCI funding. This is truly a transformational opportunity for our great state.”
The West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust is a public venture capital fund, established to grow, promote and grow the West Virginia economy by making investment funds available to qualifying businesses, thereby stimulating economic growth and providing or retaining jobs in the state. In the 2022 legislative session, SB 523 transferred oversight of WVJIT to the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, effective June 5, 2022.