PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Department of Treasury announced Friday that the State of Oregon will receive up to $83.5 million in funding under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).

Oregon was one of four states that were approved to receive federal funding through SSBCI — Colorado, Montana and New York were the other three states. The money will reportedly be used to promote small business growth and entrepreneurship through the American Rescue Plan.

“This is a historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation through the American Rescue Plan that will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities including those in rural areas,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “I’m excited to see how SSBCI funds will promote equitable economic growth in Oregon and across the country.”

“I’d like to thank Secretary Yellen, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo, and the Biden-Harris administration for approving Oregon’s application and for their support of our business community,” added Governor Kate Brown. “Oregon’s SSCBI funds will make meaningful impacts for our small business community for generations to come and help to further our work to build a safe, strong, just, and equitable Oregon for all. Oregon’s approach will be to use these funds to counter systemic barriers to economic opportunity by providing access to capital in persistently underserved, low- and moderate-income areas, and rural communities.”

The state will operate five programs, including two venture capital programs, which are reportedly designed to invest in funds that need additional capital to launch. The state has allocated $30 million toward the two venture capital programs.

The programs will also plan to counter systemic barriers to economic opportunity by providing access to capital in underserved, low and moderate-income, as well as rural communities. Additionally, the state expects the programs to be self-sustaining, which will provide support to small businesses in Oregon over the long haul.

“Oregon is a leader in innovation, thanks to the entrepreneurs and small businesses generating thousands of jobs in their communities. Yet, too often small business owners — especially entrepreneurs of color, women, and those in rural parts of our state — face serious obstacles to get the capital they need to grow their businesses, or even get their businesses off the ground in the first place,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “These historic American Rescue Plan investments will go far in tearing down obstacles to growth and support more entrepreneurs and small businesses in every nook and cranny of our state. I am thrilled that Oregon’s SSBCI plan has been approved and am eager to see our entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.”

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” added Senator Jeff Merkley. “As our economy continues to recover from the ongoing pandemic and other market disruptors, it’s crucial to continue supporting our local community businesses. This important access to capital will help jumpstart new and growing small businesses in Oregon by ensuring business opportunities are accessible and encouraging entrepreneurs old and new to build out their small businesses — ultimately, serving their communities and building the shared future we want.”