Arizona State Small Business Credit Initiative

Small -business

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is a federal program administered by the Department of Treasury to strengthen state programs that support private financing of socially and economically disadvantaged businesses (SEDI-owned businesses).


The SSBCI program is not a grant program, and each business will need to meet certain requirements set forth by lenders or investors.

Arizona has been approved to implement three programs under the SSBCI Initiative:

  1. Arizona Loan Guarantee Program
  2. Arizona Venture Co-Invest Program
  3. Arizona Multi-Fund Venture Capital Program


These programs have different pathways and requirements for full utilization. Summary information about the programs is provided below.

Arizona Loan Guarantee Program

The Arizona Loan Guarantee Program (AZLGP) provides guarantees to partnering lenders for up to 50% of principal on loans to eligible businesses. This program is part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and helps partnering lenders mitigate risk so they can increase capital available to small businesses located across Arizona.

Borrowers must be an Arizona small business, or eligible non-profit, using the loan proceeds for an eligible business purpose in Arizona. Eligible business purposes include startup costs, working capital, equipment, inventory, the purchase, construction, renovation, or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes, and the purchase of any tangible or intangible assets except goodwill.

Funds are targeted to Arizona businesses with fewer than 500 employees and can only be provided to businesses with fewer than 750 employees. The number of employees includes any parent company and all locations. Certain business types are ineligible under SSBCI guidelines; see our FAQs for details.

Loans and lending decisions are made by the partnering CDFIs using their own underwriting and loan evaluation criteria and lending decisions are at the sole discretion of the lender – no loans come directly from the Arizona Commerce Authority. The guarantee is provided to the lender to help mitigate risk. The program does not provide lending capital. Enrolled lenders' ability to make loans is dependent on each lender's available capital.


Arizona is partnering with three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs):


Clearinghouse CDFI

Clearinghouse CDFI is a full-service, direct lender financing projects that create jobs & services to help people work, live, dream, grow, & thrive in healthy communities. It serves low-income and disadvantaged communities as well as established small businesses. They specialize in small business loans for acquisition, renovation, and expansion between $500,000 and $12 million, specifically collateralized with commercial real estate.

Click here for more information about Clearinghouse CDFI. 


Lendistry CDFI

Lendistry CDFI is a minority-led small business lender that gives growing businesses a fair chance to access affordable capital. With the speed and convenience of technology and the knowledge and guidance of responsible lending, they can help business owners achieve their goals with flexible financing options. Lendistry offers a variety of startup and small business financing options ranging from $50,000 - $5,000,000.

Click here to learn more about Lendistry.


Prestamos CDFI

Prestamos CDFI, a division of Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC), is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Community Development Entity (CDE) that has provided small businesses loans and high-quality technical support services to business owners in underserved and emerging communities since 1980. Prestamos CDFI offers loan products ranging from $10,000 up to $1 million, business consulting services, and investment opportunities.

Click here for more information about Prestamos CDFI.

Arizona Venture Co-Invest Program – AVC Ignite

The Arizona Venture Co-Invest Program makes direct equity investments in innovative seed- and early-stage businesses in targeted sectors alongside institutional/venture capital firms, established angel capital associations, corporate VCs and established accelerators and incubators. This program is administered through the non-profit Arizona Venture Development Corporation (AVC).

Arizona Multi-Fund Venture Capital Program – AVC Limited Partner

The Arizona Multi-Fund Venture Capital Program provides equity investments in established venture capital firms to attract new capital in innovative Arizona-based businesses. This program is administered through the non-profit Arizona Venture Development Corporation (AVC).

Have Questions?

Visit the Arizona SSBCI Programs FAQ page for answers to the commonly asked questions.

For more information about SSBCI, visit the SSBCI page on Treasury's website.

For questions about Arizona’s allocation of SSBCI funding or any of the programs, please contact [email protected]  or fill out the form below: