Loans available for new and existing worker co-ops through the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)


The U.S. Treasury’s new State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) offers $10 billion in credit and loans for states to support small businesses. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided funding through states for the SSBCI as a response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative allows states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to build upon or create new small business programs, including equity/venture capital programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, collateral support programs, and capital access programs. State allocations can be viewed here. 

As part of these state programs, SSBCI loans may be used to finance the transition of small businesses to worker cooperatives. According to Treasury guidelines, the borrower must have 500 employees or less at the time that the loan is enrolled in the program, and the loan cannot exceed $5 million. Existing worker cooperatives may also utilize SSBCI loans for business purposes. Eligible uses include start-up costs; working capital; franchise fees; and acquisition of equipment, inventory, or services used in the production, manufacturing, or delivery of a business’s goods or services, or in the purchase, construction, renovation, or improvements of an eligible place of business. 

The Treasury Department has made available a list of programs proposed by States, DC, and Territories, including the email of the local officials managing the SSBCI programs. These local officials are the first point of contact to discuss the potential use of SSBCI credit for a worker cooperative. The Treasury Department has also assigned several Washington, D.C.-based outreach coordinators for every local jurisdiction in case more specific contact information is needed or other questions arise.  

Any questions regarding the SSBCI program can be submitted to

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