COVID-19 Relief In-Depth: The State Small Business Credit Initiative for Tribal Governments

Apr 22, 2021 | News

The American Recovery Plan Act also re-establishes the State Small Business Credit Initiative, and it includes a set-aside for Indian tribes. In this article, we provide an overview of the 2021 SSBCI and its tribal set-aside.  

The SSBCI was originally introduced in 2010 to deliver emergency loan assistance to small businesses, and it became one of the most successful federal funds delivery programs during its time. As a part of the ARPA, Congress provided $10 billion in SSBCI funding to support lending to small businesses, and it included a tribal set-aside.  SSBCI funds may be used to support small businesses responding to and recovering from the economic effects of Covid-19 by providing them with access to credit, and also providing technical assistance with the application process for various support programs.

The 2021 SSBCI includes a set-aside of $500 million specifically for tribal governments to be administered and distributed by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Tribal governments would then be able to allocate SSBCI funds to small businesses in need in their area. SSBCI funds are intended to stimulate economic development and create jobs for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.

The allocation amounts available to each tribe will be announced in late April. Tribes must then notify Treasury of their intent to apply for SSBCI funds by mid-June, with final applications due in mid-December. All tribes are encouraged to apply for SSBCI funds and offer their input regarding the distribution of funds via government-to-government consultation sessions and engagements with Treasury. 

Treasury is in the process of creating its tribal SSBCI application form and establishing a process for tribes to submit their notice of intent to apply for funds. As part of the allocation of funds, Treasury must consider tribal government employment and economic data. Information regarding this program is rapidly evolving, and SSBCI program guidance, forms, and other resources will be posted on Treasury’s website as they become available.

Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP is actively monitoring SSBCI announcements and can assist tribes applying for SSBCI funds. To learn more about this issue and how we can assist, contact attorney Thomasina Real Bird in our Colorado office at (303) 926-5292.