The U.S. Small Business Administration has proposed changes to its SBIC Early Stage Program, a feature of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program.

SBA has proposed a number of regulatory changes that seek to broaden access to the Early Stage Program and strengthen the impact of SBICs on early stage small businesses.

sbic-programSBA has introduced regulatory changes based on extensive consultation with SBIC Program stakeholders and experts in the early stage investment industry as part of SBA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning its SBIC Early Stage Program published in the Federal Register in March 2015.

Major Changes

  1. Allow Early Stage SBIC applicants to apply to the program on a rolling basis.
  2. Allow existing Early Stage SBIC applicants to apply for a subsequent fund.
  3. Allow Early Stage SBICs to utilize a line of credit subject to certain terms without SBA’s prior approval.
  4. Increase maximum leverage from $50 million to $75 million.

Submit comments on the proposed changes to the SBA’s Early Stage Program on or before Oct. 19, 2016.

SBIC Program Background

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program is a multi-billion dollar, government-sponsored investment fund created in 1958 to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs’ need for capital and traditional sources of financing.

The SBA invests long-term capital in privately-owned and managed investment firms licensed as Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs).

Once capitalized, SBICs make debt and equity investments in some of America’s most promising small businesses, helping them grow.

Since the program was created in 1958, over $80 billion has been invested, helping finance 170,000 American small businesses, including companies like COSTCO, Amgen, Apple, FedEx, Staples, Intel, and Tesla.