Gov. Walker, U.S. Department of the Treasury: Announce $22.4 million to support Wisconsin small businesses, help create jobs

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

U.S. Treasury Public Affairs 202-622-2960

WHEDA: 414-227-2295

MADISON – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced today that the U.S. Department of the Treasury Department had approved Wisconsin’s application to participate in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Wisconsin will receive $22.4 million for small business lending programs to help create private sector jobs. Based on 10:1 match expectations these funds are expected to support at least $224 million in new lending.

“Small business is a key to private sector job creation,” said Governor Walker. “Securing participation in the State Small Business Credit Initiative will help provide more small businesses the access to capital they need to grow and create jobs.”

“Many small businesses are still struggling to access the capital they need to invest, expand and create new jobs,” said Treasurer of the United States, Rosie Rios. “These critical funds will provide a powerful incentive for lending to small businesses, spurring additional job creation and further strengthening our nation’s economic recovery.”

SSBCI was established with the passage of the federal Small Business Jobs Act of September 2010 and was created to make capital more accessible to entrepreneurs and small businesses. SSBCI bolsters state programs that support small business lending. Any state that establishes a new, or has an existing support program for small businesses was eligible to apply. Under the Initiative, Wisconsin will use U.S. Treasury funds for programs that leverage private lending to finance creditworthy small businesses that are not receiving loans needed to expand and create jobs.

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) worked with the Wisconsin Department of Administration to complete the application for the State and WHEDA will administer the program funds. WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston called the news “thrilling.”

“To demonstrate our strong support of Governor Walker’s ambitious job creation goal, WHEDA has greatly expanded its focus on economic development,” said Winston. “It’s exciting to know that these funds will support WHEDA’s efforts to assist small business spur job creation.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is also expected to receive a portion of the Treasury funds. Winston says he is looking forward to a coordinated effort by WHEDA and WEDC to rejuvenate the state’s economy.

The funds will be used to support the expansion of the state’s Capital Access Program; the creation of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Guarantee Program and the creation of the Wisconsin Equity Fund, a venture capital program.