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Small Business Resources

Small Businesses Programs, Resources and Information

The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, a regulatory agency for the District of Columbia’s financial services industries, provides and participates in programs and resources to assist small business owners in creating sustainable economic development.

State Small Business Credit Initiative Programs

District of Columbia Collateral Support Program
The District of Columbia Collateral Support Program is part of the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative created by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The program provides collateral support for small business borrowers who might be qualified for loans, but are unable to meet the lender’s collateral requirements. Qualified small businesses use the loans to buy equipment and inventory; for expansions or renovations; working capital; start-up costs; leasehold improvements; or refinancing. Find a list of participating lenders, loan enrollment procedures and forms and more information on the District of Columbia Collateral Support Program.

District of Columbia Loan Participation Program
The District of Columbia Loan Participation Program is the second program under the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. The program provides loan support for small business borrowers who may be qualified for loans, but are unable to meet capital requirements or the debt service coverage ratio of the lending institution. The District buys a portion of a loan originated by a lender at subsidized interest rate which reduces the blended interest rate offered to the borrower. The portion that the District buys cannot exceed 50% of the loan and is capped at $1 million. Find more information on the District of Columbia Loan Participation Program.

District of Columbia Innovation Finance Program
The District of Columbia Innovation Finance Program (IFP) is DISB’s third program under the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. The program provides capital to investors that co-invest with the District in start-ups and emerging companies that seek financing alternatives to traditional commercial financing. The portion that the District invests cannot exceed 50% of the loan and is capped at $500,000. Find more information on the District of Columbia Innovation Finance Program.

Equity Crowdfunding

District of Columbia-Only Securities Offerings Exemption
The District of Columbia-Only Securities Offerings Exemption allows DC-based businesses (including start-ups and small businesses) to be exempt from the District’s securities registration requirements in order to encourage capital formation and simplify equity investing.  To qualify for the exemption, the business must be organized under DC law and have its principal place of business in the District, and the securities in the offering must be offered only to DC residents. This method of funding (up to $2 million) must be in compliance with the limitations on intrastate offerings under the federal Securities Act of 1933 and the implementing regulation. There is also a separate exemption process for nonprofits. Find more information on the District of Columbia-Only Securities Offerings Exemption including the application process.

Other Access to Capital Programs

Certified Capital Company Program (CAPCO)
The Certified Capital Company Program, known as “CAPCO,” makes private equity and debt investments in small businesses in DC. The two companies that make up the program are managed by professional venture capitalists and operate independently of the Government of the District of Columbia. For more information, follow this link.

District of Columbia Microloan Program
The DC Certified Business Enterprise Revolving Micro Loan Fund program provides start-up capital to small businesses that do not have enough capital to grow in their early stage of development. The maximum loan amount is $25,000. Applications and filing procedures are available online here on the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development’s website.

Insurance Information and Resources

Insure U for Small Businesses
Insure U for Small Businesses is an online resource that provides small businesses owners with tips and considerations when choosing insurance for your businesses. You will find information on worker’s compensation, business property and liability, commercial auto, group health and disability, group life, key person life and home-based businesses. Insure U is available in both English and Spanish and is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) which is an organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories. Visit insureuonline.org/smallbusiness

Insure U para Empresas Pequeñas 
La Asociación Nacional de Comisionados de Seguros (NAIC) presenta Insure U para Empresas Pequeñas, con el propósito de proveer información, consejos útiles y consideraciones sobre seguros a propietarios de empresas pequeñas y negocios que operan desde el hogar. El programa de Insure U está organizado alrededor de los siguientes temas: seguro  laboral contra accidentes, seguro de propiedad comercial y  responsabilidad civil, seguro comercial para automotores, seguro de salud y discapacidad, seguro colectivo de vida y seguro de vida para personal clave. Internet: insureuonline.org/smallbusinessespanol

DC Health Link 
DC Health Link is the District’s online marketplace created for individuals, families and small businessowners with less than 50 employees in DC to shop, compare and select health insurance that meets their health needs and budgets. For more information, visit dchealthlink.com.  If you have more than 50 employees, DISB provides a list of health insurance carriers in DC for your reference available here.

Disaster Planning for Small Businesses
Review and Update Your Business Insurance in Case Disaster Strikes 

Tornado. Wildfire. Winter melt. Hurricane. Flood.  Across the country, springtime can bring all kinds of potentially damaging weather. Now is the time for small business owners to get prepared for the possibility of disaster by reviewing their business insurance needs and policies. Because you never know when disaster will strike, here’s a checklist to help you prepare. Visit disb.dc.gov/disaster planning for small businesses.

Introduction to Business Owner's Policy: A Package Solution
Many small business owners purchase a business package policy called a “BOP” or a business owner’s policy. A BOP typically includes property insurance, business interruption/continuation insurance and liability insurance. Often it is a less costly option for small businesses than buying a set of individual policies. Many insurers customize BOPs for specific types of businesses. Visit disb.dc.gov/BOP for more information.

Introduction to Liability Insurance
If someone falls while visiting your business premises or a customer is hurt by a product your business sells, you can be held responsible. That’s the risk that liability insurance covers. Liability insurance, also called Commercial General Liability (CGL), covers four categories of events for which you could be held responsible: bodily injury; damage to others’ property; personal injury, including slander and libel; and false or misleading advertising. CGL coverage pays for the injured party’s medical expenses. It excludes your employees, who are covered by workers’ compensation. More information on liability insurance is available here.

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