On April 13, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Legislative Commission on Science, hosted a roundtable discussion in Albany to solicit recommendations from the banking, university, economic development and angel investor/venture capital communities as to the most effective use of New York's allocation under the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) that became law last fall. She was joined by her Assembly colleague, William Scarborough, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Small Business.
The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 included the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a new formula grant program to support small business lending. New York's allocation is estimated to be $55 million and the state must submit an application by June 27th in order to receive funding.
The participants engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about access to capital access and other needs of small businesses. Reflecting the different perspectives around the table, participants suggested that the State's application include the following:
Funding the existing credit-support efforts, such as the Linked Deposit program;
Capitalizing New York's existing Capital Access Program;
Adding a collateral support program for small manufacturers;
Providing a small share of the funds to support small business exports; and,
Creating a state-supported seed capital program that would invest in regional seed funds. This would assist innovators in taking the first steps needed to develop their products in the "Valley of Death" period before traditional venture capital firms consider investing in a new business.
Critical entrepreneurial assistance is not adequate in the State of New York. Once our SSBCI application is approved by the Department of Treasury, the deployment of these funds will help leverage additional resources from both the public and private sectors to ensure that our investments in R&D and capital access pay off.