The state has received a $34.3 million grant from the U.S. treasury department for small-business lending. Most of it—$32.8 million—will be funneled into the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, bringing the total for the fund over the next two years to $62.8 million.
The 21st Century fund, which helps with angel and other early stage investing, took it on the chin during budget cutting in the prior biennium. Only $35 million was allocated for the two years ending June 30—about half the level of each of the two prior bienniums. So the grant nearly restores the fund to its better years.
One string attached to the grant is the requirement to leverage $10 in private lending for every $1 in federal funding.
So there’s some good news. How do you feel about the 21st Century fund overall? Is it working?