Nevada will receive about $112.9 million of federal funds to help diversify its economy and get new businesses off the ground, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced Tuesday.
The department approved 11 additional state plans for up to $1 billion in funding under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a program started during the Great Recession but reauthorized through the American Rescue Plan.
The initiative aims to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship in traditionally under served communities as they work to bounce back from the pandemic. It is also designed to make sure capital is flowing everywhere, not just major cities and businesses, said Gene Sperling, senior advisor to the president and American Rescue Plan coordinator, said during a press call Tuesday.
In 2021, Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses, 20 percent more than any other year on record, according to the White House. Small businesses with fewer than 50 workers created 2.8 million jobs in 2021, which is the highest rate of small business job creation ever recorded in one year, according to the White House.
“The investments being made through (State Small Business Credit Initiative) are a key part of the Biden Administration’s strategy to keep this small business boom going by expanding access to capital and by providing entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed,” a statement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Public Affairs said.
The initiative also includes matching of funds, giving up to $10 of private investment for every $1 of State Small Business Credit Initiative capital funding, according to the statement. So far, the initiative has approved 31 state plans for approximately $4.8 billion to help small businesses.
Job creating money
Nevada will use its funding to operate five programs: a collateral support program, three loan participation programs and a venture capital program, Rep. Dina Titus. D-Nev., said during a press call with the U.S. Department of the Treasury about the initiative Tuesday.
The initiative is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in Nevada, Titus said.
“Nevada is very excited to get this money. We’re going to get it out the door, we’re going to help these small businesses and they will help us return to normal. Or better than normal,” Titus said.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit Las Vegas hard, Titus said, closing casinos, restaurants and other businesses. Small businesses are the key to recovery, as they hire many people and support the economy from the ground up, Titus said.
Saving energy and water
One of the programs will fund energy and water efficiency for small businesses, Titus said.
Another program will support debt financing for small businesses and manufacturers with the government joining in loans of more than $250,000 from commercial banks and credit unions, the statement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Public Affairs said.
Chambers of commerce will help businesses receive the funding, Titus said. UNLV also has a small business department center that provides training and assistance for small business startups, she said.
Rep. Susie Lee said that Congress has passed bills focused on supporting economic drivers in the community and helping small businesses. This program is another step toward that, she said.
“I always say we were ground zero for the economic devastation of the pandemic. But we are also ground zero for the economic benefit of these types of smart investments into our small business community,” Lee said.