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According to state data, small businesses and sole proprietorships make up 85% of business in our Commonwealth. Creating a strong small business sector is critical to the recovery from the current economic downturn and to Massachusetts's economic future. The Massachusetts Treasurer's office has created a new Small Business Banking Initiative to shift state cash deposits under the control of the Treasurer to Massachusetts banks that are willing to expand their small business lending.
We are not accepting applications for new banking partnerships at this time. However, small businesses should refer to the list of participating banks for active members for loan opportunities.
The Massachusetts Treasurer's office created the Small Business Banking Initiative to shift state cash deposits under the control of the Treasurer to Massachusetts banks that are willing to expand their small business lending.
Small businesses are the cornerstone of the Massachusetts economy. According to state data, small businesses and sole proprietorships make up 85% of businesses in our Commonwealth. Experts say that historically two-thirds of the new jobs created in the Commonwealth come from small businesses. Clearly, a strong small business sector is critical to the recovery from the current economic downturn and to Massachusetts's economic future.
Tightened credit markets in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which particularly hit large, money center banks, resulted in profound difficulties for small businesses seeking loans. However, a number of financial institutions, primarily smaller local and regional banks, have continued to maintain or expand their small business loan portfolios.
Moreover, pursuant to Section 10 of Chapter 10 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, the Treasurer is directed to give preference in assigning cash deposits to banks with a strong small business loan-making record, subject to the Treasurer's responsibility to ensure the security of the funds and obtain high returns.
The Treasury posted draft guidelines for public comment February 9-23, 2011, and received more than 25 responses from banks, trade associations, businesses, and the general public. These final guidelines reflect the input from the comments. The Treasury also has issued a public Request for Qualifications ("RFQ") to solicit participating banks. Those selected to participate were asked to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") that will set the terms of their agreement with the Treasury.
The primary objectives of this initiative are to:
To qualify for the program, banks must: