Capital Access Program

Go to top
Next Section Continue


The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is expanding the New York State Capital Access Program (CAP) with $29.4 million to provide matching funds to financial institutions for loan loss reserves as an incentive to increase small business lending.

Next Section Continue


New York State’s CAP is a loan loss portfolio insurance program designed to increase financing opportunities for New York State’s small businesses, socially and economically disadvantaged individual (SEDI) business owner* and very small businesses (VSB)**. Through CAP, Empire State Development (ESD) provides funding to a dedicated loan loss reserve account which can be utilized if a loan defaults. The reserve account begins with the borrower and lender making a shared contribution of 3 to 7 percent of the loan amount, which is then matched by Empire State Development.  The reserve account balance increases with each loan enrolled and can provide 100 percent reimbursement to a lender for any enrolled loan that defaults. 

Benefits of CAP participation: 

  • Expands the small to middle market business customer base. 
  • Limits exposure to losses through a reserve fund. 
  • Enhances Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) efforts. 
  • All loan decisions are in the hands of the Lender, without any approval required by ESD or any other entity 
  • Provides credit enhancement to all types of loans 


*Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual-Owned Business (SEDI):

SEDI shall have the meaning of:

  • A business enterprise that certifies that they are owned and controlled by individuals who have had their access to credit on reasonable terms diminished as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, due to their:
  1. Membership of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society;
  2. Gender;
  3. Veteran status;
  4. Limited English proficiency;
  5. Physical handicap;
  6. Long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society;
  7. Membership of a federally or state recognized Indian tribe;
  8. Long-term residence in a rural community;
  9. Residence in a U.S. territory;
  10. Residence in a community undergoing economic transitions (including communities impacted by the shift towards a net-zero economy or deindustrialization);
  11. Membership of another “underserved community” as defined in Executive Order 13985.
  • A business enterprise that certified that they are owned and controlled by individuals whose residences are in CDFI Investment Areas; as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii);
  • A business enterprise that certifies that they will operate a location in a CDFI Investment Area, as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii);
  • A business enterprise that is located in a CDFI Investment Area, as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1805.201(b)(3)(ii).

**Very Small Business (VSB):

VSB shall be a business with fewer than 10 employees at the time of the loan, investment, or other credit/equity support and includes independent contractors and sole proprietors.

Next Section Continue


Qualified lenders include any bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association or cooperative bank chartered by the State or any national banking association, federal savings and loan association or federal savings bank or any community-based lending organization, provided, however, that such entity has its principal office located in the State. 

A community-based lending organization includes community development financial institutions, small business lending consortia, certified development companies, United States Small Business Administration loan providers, and community development credit unions, provided however, that such entity has an office for the transaction of business located in the State. 

A community development financial institution is further defined as one that meets the following criteria: 

(i) has a primary mission of promoting community development; 

(ii) serves an investment area or targeted population; 

(iii) provides development services in conjunction with equity investments or loans, directly or through a subsidiary or affiliate; 

(iv) maintains, through representation on its governing board or otherwise, accountability to residents of its investment area or targeted population; and 

(v) is not an agency or instrumentality of the United States, or of any State or political subdivision of a State. 

Participating Lenders 

Financial institutions must enter into a Capital Access Program Portfolio Insurance Agreement with Empire State Development before enrolling loans. For more information on how to become a participating lender, please click here.

Click here to view a list of CAP lenders.