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Governor Tomblin, Members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation and U.S. Treasury Announce $13.1 Million Credit Initiative for West Virginia's Small Businesses

Press Release

Location: Charleston, WV

Together Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, and Congressman Nick Rahall today announced that small businesses in West Virginia will soon have access to new loan funds they can use to invest, expand and create jobs due to the U.S. Department of the Treasury approval of the state's application for State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding.

"West Virginia's small businesses already have talent and dedication. Now this program will equip them with the capital they need to invest in their businesses, expand and create new jobs," said Gov. Tomblin. "Small businesses account for more than 90 percent of the employers in the state. An investment in our creditworthy small businesses is an investment in the economic vitality of our communities and our state."

The approval will give West Virginia access to $13.1 million in federal dollars to fund new small business lending programs. These programs will enable small businesses to leverage new capital and credit to create private sector jobs.

"This program provides the needed resources to help West Virginia's small businesses grow and hire more workers," said Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). "Creating jobs, promoting small businesses, and boosting West Virginia's economy are my top priorities, and I will continue to support programs that do just that. I applaud Gov. Tomblin for spearheading this program in the state and making sure that West Virginia workers and businesses can get more opportunities to grow."

"Small businesses are the best job creators we have, and anything we can do to create a successful business climate is good for West Virginia and the nation," said Senator Manchin (D-WV). "Small business owners tell me that one of their greatest needs is increased access to capital, and I am pleased to create an additional tool to help businesses expand and create jobs."

"Credit is the mother's milk of small business growth -- enabling expansion into new markets, creation of new jobs, and bigger investments in the economy," said U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV). "With the right kind of investments in the good old American entrepreneurial spirit, we can spur innovation and open new markets for West Virginia products, allowing us to compete and win in the global economy."

The West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP) is expected to go into effect January 2012. It will support four new credit programs:

* WVCAP Seed Capital Co-Investment Fund
* WVCAP Subordinated Debt Program
* WVCAP Collateral Support Program
* WVCAP Loan Guaranty Program

The West Virginia Department of Commerce will provide matching funds for a Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation grant proposal to promote public awareness of the WVCAP initiative and awareness of services that will maximize economic growth.

The SSBCI program, a key component of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, was funded with $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support lending to small businesses and small manufacturers. SSBCI funds are expected to generate a minimum of $10 in new private lending for every $1 in federal funding. The federal SSBCI is expected to help spur up to $15 billion in lending to small businesses.

Under the SSBCI, all states have the opportunity to apply for federal funds for state-run programs that partner with private lenders and investors to increase the amount of credit available to small businesses. Participating states will use the federal funds for programs that leverage private lending to help finance small businesses and manufacturers that are creditworthy, but are not getting the loans they need to expand and create jobs.

Details on how the West Virginia SSBCI will operate are being finalized. For more information, call West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT), 304-345-6200. f

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