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.
District of Columbia Business Capital Program
The District of Columbia Business Capital Program (DC BizCAP) is funded by the U.S. Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (Initiative). The Initiative, a $1.5 billion fund, was established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs who were adversely affected by the economic recession of 2008 and the credit crisis that followed. The District of Columbia was allocated $13.2 million for District businesses. The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) established and administers DC BizCAP to provide capital to District small businesses and entrepreneurs who continue to encounter reductions in the availability of credit and heightened requirements to obtain financing. DC BizCAP provides critical capital through three programs that provide alternatives to traditional commercial financing to facilitate private lending and investments in District small businesses.
DC BizCAP - Collateral Support Program
The Collateral Support Program (CSP) provides funds for deposit with a participating lender (i.e. a participating bank, credit union or community development financial institution) to provide the necessary collateral to cover the borrower’s collateral shortfall. The CSP’s collateral is drawn down and returned, for use by other business, to DISB over the life of the loan. Find a list of participating lenders, loan enrollment procedures and forms and more information on the Collateral Support Program.
DC BizCAP - Loan Participation Program
The Loan Participation Program (LPP) is a program that provides loan support for small business which may qualify for loans, but are unable to meet capital requirements or the debt service coverage ratio of the lending institution. Under the LPP, the District buys a portion of a loan originated by a lender to bolster capital on the borrower’s balance sheet and reduce its debt service. Find a list of participating lenders, loan enrollment procedures and forms and more information on the Loan Participation Program.
DC BizCAP - Innovation Finance Program
The Innovation Finance Program (IFP) provides capital for investment in District of Columbia start-ups and emerging companies that seek financing alternatives to traditional commercial financing. The IFP provides the capital either (1) through a co-investment with an Innovation Finance Company into the small business; or (2) by investing as a limited partner in an Innovation Finance Company that shall then make an investment into that small business. Find more information on the Innovation Finance Program.
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.