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Contact Tom Wall, Director of the Small Business Credit Initiative

Capital Access Program

The Capital Access Program (CAP) is available through partner lenders in all 100 North Carolina counties. Any qualifying loan to a business with fewer than 500 employees can be enrolled. Borrowers should contact a participating lender to be considered for the program.

Under the CAP program, the borrower and the lender contribute a total of between two and seven percent of the loan amount, and the Rural Center matches this amount dollar-for-dollar. These funds grow to create a reserve account at each participating lender to be used to offset losses on enrolled loans, thus helping offset the lender’s risk.

The extra assurance means local and regional lenders are more confident to make loans to businesses in need or otherwise cut off from critical capital. And that means more North Carolina small businesses surviving, growing, and thriving.

Participating CAP Loans enrolled tend to be smaller than $100,000 and are often lines of credit. The lender uses its standard underwriting process and determines loan terms. It then submits the required enrollment paperwork to the Rural Center, which then reviews the submission for program compliance.


The State Small Business Credit Initiative

The Capital Access Program was one of three programs managed by the Rural Center under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The state of North Carolina entered into a contract with the Rural Center to design, launch, and manage the initiative. All 50 states managed a Small Business Credit Initiative, using federal funds to spur small-business lending in their particular state.

When the federal program sunset in 2017, North Carolina’s program:

  • Ranked second in the nation (only after California) in private financing leveraged–$707 million–with 15 private dollars for every federal program dollar invested,
  • Created or retained 12,500 total jobs throughout the state,
  • Used 21 percent of dollars in low-to-moderate income tracts,
  • Featured six of the top-fifty partner banks (by dollar amount loaned and number of loans) in the nation,
  • And also featured two of the top twenty-five partner CDFIs (in dollar amount loaned and number of loans) in the nation.

Approximately 39% of SBCI transactions were in rural North Carolina counties.

The programs created with the launch of the SBCI continue today and are being managed by the Rural Center to be evergreen. To date, more than $14 million of funds have been recycled into new transactions.