Innovate Alabama Awarded Nearly $98 Million to Support Alabama Small Businesses

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MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey announced today that Innovate Alabama is set to receive nearly $98 million to continue its support of Alabama small businesses, fueling the state’s powerful ecosystem of entrepreneurs.

The dual-component program, LendAL and InvestAL, will finance loan and venture capital initiatives intended to enhance lender and investor confidence in Alabama and infuse capital directly into the businesses of the state’s startup founders and small business owners. The funding is made possible based on Act 2024-74, a piece of legislation passed through the Alabama State Legislature earlier this month and signed into law by Governor Ivey.

“As Alabama continues to signal that it’s open for business, it is crucial that we continue to contribute to the growth of the state’s economy through our small businesses. This is a sector that has played a pivotal role in defining Alabama’s history,” said Governor Ivey. “With the SSBCI program, we will demonstrate to both investors and business owners that Alabama represents a sound investment opportunity.”

“The SSBCI program will be a catalyst for our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, establishing an evergreen fund to improve access to capital for Alabama small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Innovate Alabama CEO Cynthia Crutchfield. “With the advent of this program, we’re welcoming a new era for entrepreneurs in Alabama. I’m eager to witness the lasting benefits of the investment in the state, including the stimulation of a self-sustaining, durable investment landscape.”

The funding, the largest small business funding program the state has seen, is made available by the U.S. Department of the Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI allocation has been made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which directed funds to states to broaden access to capital and resources for small businesses, thereby promoting economic resilience, job creation and expanding opportunities. The primary mission is to encourage and back private investments as opposed to solely filling a gap in the capital markets with public funds.

Skilled talent, business plan development, product testing, intellectual property protection and technical work all have a cost. Through the SSBCI program, Innovate Alabama is connecting entrepreneurs with the investors and resources they need to thrive.

“The SSBCI program will support small businesses across the entire State of Alabama,” said state Sen. Greg Reed, Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore and Vice Chair of the Innovate Alabama Board of Directors. “This initiative will provide yet another tool for Innovate Alabama to both support existing small businesses in Alabama and attract those who are looking to relocate to Alabama, start a business and enjoy our unique quality of life.

Media Release/Office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey

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