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Small Business Investments Hold Steady in California’s Budget

By Addison Peterson, CAMEO’s Policy Specialist.

The California FY 2023-24 budget was finally finalized – several weeks late. This year included steep cuts overall, but small business programs saw a stable budget with few cuts. Below are some highlights from the 2023-24 budget:

  • The Technical Assistance Expansion Program (TAEP) received $23 million to support Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
  • The $50 million for the California Investment and Innovation program, administered by the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, will provide capacity-building funding for CDFIs and remains intact.
  • GO-Biz will see an overall $9 million increase to $79 million. Additional funds are going to weather-related disaster relief from storms and droughts earlier this year.
  • The California Small Agricultural Business Drought Relief Grant program increased $25 million to assist eligible agriculture-related businesses affected by recent storms and droughts for a total of $100 million,

California budgeted $25.3 million from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) that will be spread out over three budget years for technical assistance to small businesses.

Also, the following programs are funded by SSBCI, and the money will be drawn down over the next 5-10 years.

  • The Small Business Loan Guarantee program is funded at $390 million to expand access to capital in underserved communities.
  • The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Collateral Support received $472 million, a program that will provide collateral for small business loans. 
  • $118 million is budgeted to cover any loan losses from the California Capital Access Program Loan Loss Reserve.
  • The Expanding Venture Capital Access program will invest $150 million in venture capital in VC firms ran by entrepreneurs of color and $50 million in small businesses directly.

One of the programs that did see a significant cut is the California Competes Tax Credit, which will be cut from $120 million to $40 million. This program is a tax credit to keep existing businesses and jobs in California. The program often has been underutilized.