As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) will receive up to $81.6 million in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding to provide more access to capital for startups and small businesses in Oklahoma. SSBCI funds will be used to create two new programs: the Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment program and the Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership program. OCAST is also in the process of applying for additional funding to provide Technical Assistance to Oklahoma innovators.
A portion of Oklahoma’s SSBCI allocation will benefit very small businesses, those employing fewer than ten employees, along with businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantage individuals, those in underserved populations and rural Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment Program (OVCI)
The Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment program is set to strengthen the state’s economy and incentivize the growth of private venture capital in Oklahoma by investing nearly $49 million of SSBCI dollars in Oklahoma based venture funds. Through an open request for proposals, OCAST will award SSBCI dollars to Oklahoma based venture funds for the purpose of making investments in Oklahoma based innovation companies. Selected venture funds will be required to match every dollar of federal funds with a minimum of a dollar of matching private investment capital.
Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership Program (OBLP)
The Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership Program will provide up to $32.7 million in nondilutive loans. These loans will be administered through selected Oklahoma Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) and Oklahoma based banks. Partners will be selected through a request for proposals which will soon open.
For Oklahoma Innovators and Small Businesses
Please check back to this page in early February for more information on the funds and lenders selected to offer the OVCI and OBLP programs.
Oklahoma SSBCI Quick Facts
- 100% of SSBCI funds allocated to Oklahoma will remain in Oklahoma
- SSBCI dollars for investments and for loans require $1 for $1 match of private capital and a 10X minimum return
- Investments can be as large as $20M (federal funds plus private match), but the target for no more than $5M total
- Loans may also reach $20M total, but $500K is the preferred maximum (federal funds plus private match)
- $16.6M of the SSBCI funds must be dedicated to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI)-owned businesses
- $4.1M must be dedicated to very small businesses (VSB) – 10 employees or less
- Investment companies selected by OCAST through an RFP process will be responsible for making direct investments in Oklahoma small businesses (less than 100 people) using SSBCI dollars matched at least 1:1 with private capital
- Selected lending organizations will extend loans to small Oklahoma businesses using SSBCI funds matched with private capital dollar for dollar
- OCAST will not make direct investments or loans
- OCAST will only make fund to fund investments with the SSBCI dollars in Oklahoma investment companies managing an investment fund
- OCAST will only award SSBCI capital for lending through CDFIs, and local banks
U.S. Treasury Links
Question on SSBCI guidelines and Treasury policy.
U.S. Treasury’s SSBCI FAQs.