A small business owner serves a customer a cup of coffee in her shp.

Access to Capital

Remember the old saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees?” Unfortunately, money does make the world go round, especially the world of business. If you’re looking for funding sources to fuel your growth, check out some of these possibilities.

The #1 request of small businesses is affordable loans. For many businesses, it’s a Catch-22. You need money to get a loan, but you need a loan to get money. This is particularly true for very small businesses or those run by owners in historically underserved communities.

Commerce’s new loan products were made possible by $163.4 million in funds provided through the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This program aims to promote entrepreneurship, support small business ownership, and increase the flow of capital in underserved communities. A portion of all program funding is targeted towards Very Small Businesses (VSB) and businesses owned by Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI).

Working with private financial partners, Commerce has developed five programs to serve the needs of small businesses across the state. As these programs become application-ready, the title of each will be linked to the information you need to apply for a loan.

Note: Commerce does not manage these loans. They are managed by our trusted partners in the financial community.

Loan Participation Program (Micro Loan Program)

The program works with Participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to address the capital needs of the smallest businesses and non-profit organizations across the state. The program participates by purchasing a portion of the loans from CDFIs as a way to free up their existing capital to allow CDFIs to generate additional loans for small businesses.

Collateral Support Program (CSP)

The CSP program is designed to complement the Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Program. The goal is to address collateral shortfalls by providing short-term loans (6-18 months) to small businesses located in Washington State. The program addresses the shortfall by providing cash collateral to Participating Lenders that enhances borrowers’ collateral coverage and allows lenders to make new financing available to businesses.

Revenue-Based Financing Fund (RBF)

Provides a revenue-based debt product focusing on underbanked communities around the state to provide upfront capital for businesses beyond the traditional debt-based loan products. This program is also a Sharia-compliant financing tool.

Commercial Real Estate Program (CRE)

Designed to assist small businesses in both qualifying for financing and lowering their business risk when undertaking owner-occupied real estate loans. CRE targets Socially and Economically Disadvantaged business owners and Very Small Businesses with funding for owner-occupied commercial real estate loans that could be used for tenant improvements, construction, purchase or refinance.

Venture Capital Fund

Washington State SSBCI funds will invest in three separate venture capital funds dedicated to providing early-stage funding to support the growth of Washington businesses. The venture capital funds with diverse investment teams will focus on investing in underserved startups or targeted investment objectives such as social equity, climate tech innovations, information technology, AI and machine learning.

More information on these new programs can be found on this page on the main Commerce website.

These links are provided for informational purposes only. Washington State and the Department of Commerce do not endorse any of these organizations nor is it liable for the quality or outcome of any relationships entered into.