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Ninety-six percent of Rhode Island businesses are small businesses. Across the nation, small businesses comprise 99.7% of all U.S. employer firms; they are the heart and soul of our state and nation’s economy. At the Commerce Corporation, we recognize the significance of our small business sector, and more specifically, work closely with the micro-businesses (between 1-4 employees) among them. We know that these firms are innovators creating new ideas, processes, and technologies to deliver better products and services – they are the companies that are injecting new life into Rhode Island’s economy.
The Commerce Corporation’s Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF) aims to fill the gap in financing that small and mid-sized businesses face. Small companies working in fields like the health and life sciences, defense and national security, marine and environmental technology, information technology, and advanced manufacturing add enormous value to our historically industrial-based economy, but often are constrained by traditional bank lending parameters. Small businesses often do not have the balance sheets or liquidity at the level that a private lender wants to see.