Turning Innovation Into Enterprise

Newsletters

WV Capital Access Program Creating Jobs Across State

March 26, 2014

Program Recognized by U.S. Treasury as 2nd Best in Nation

 

WVCAP logoWest Virginia’s highly successful deployment of funding through the U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was singled out for recognition in a press release issued by the agency earlier this month.

The West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP) has utilized 97 percent of its $13.1 million allocation in SSBCI funds since the program began two years ago.  Overall, the WVCAP has created and or retained nearly 1,000 jobs and leveraged more than $62 million in private investment in almost 60 transactions.

The Treasury Department released a quarterly report on March 6 showing that West Virginia is second in the nation in deploying the funds, which are intended to support small business lending and start-up investment.

“It’s a welcome change to see West Virginia at the top of a list, and this one, in particular.  It proves that the model developed for the WVCAP is working to address small business lending and investment needs throughout the state,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect West Virginia.

The SSBCI, part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is expected to help spur up to $15 billion in new private sector lending or investment in small companies by leveraging $10 in private capital for every dollar of federal support by the program’s end.  West Virginia’s $13.1 million allocation is expected to result in $130 million in new investment over the course of the program.

“The WVCAP funding has allowed new businesses to get started, and existing businesses to expand, by providing a source of risk capital that otherwise would not be available to them,” said Barth.  “Now what we need is sustained funding for WVCAP because there are many more firms eager to grow, and to do that, they need capital,” she added.

The president’s budget for FY2015 includes a proposal to extend the program with an additional $1.5 billion in funding. Barth said this would allow West Virginia to capitalize on, and strengthen, new working relationships with small business lenders and investors established through the WVCAP.  “We know there are more small businesses in West Virginia who are ready to move forward, if they can address their capital needs,” Barth said.

One company that has benefitted from the WV Capital Access Program is Berkeley Springs Instruments (BSI).  BSI has developed a unique wireless mechanical integrity monitoring and information management system that enhances the safety of high risk pipelines and facility piping worldwide.

“Funding from INNOVA and the WV Job Investment Trust has helped us complete our development work and launch our product into the marketplace,” said Dr. Gene Silverman, the firm’s president.  “We now have the capital necessary to increase our production capabilities in order to fill immediate orders and to build a strong locally-staffed organization.”

A key to the program’s effectiveness is that along with access to capital, small businesses were provided with operational assistance to help guide decision making and business planning, improving their chances for success.  Funding for the operational assistance was provided through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

TechConnect recognized the WVCAP for its success with its “Investor Award” at the Spirit of Innovation Awards last October.

The WVCAP was spearheaded by the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust, which partnered with seven other economic development organizations in the state to get the funds deployed within the two year time frame.  Those include the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, INNOVA, Natural Capital Investment Fund, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, the Wyoming Economic Development Authority, and the Center for Rural Health Development, and the Regional Economic Development Partnership.

For more information on the WVCAP, visit http://www.wvjit.org/wvcap/

For more information on the SSBCI, visit

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sb-programs/Pages/ssbci.aspx