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ASG receives $10.5 mil to help small businesses

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni announced Thursday that the US Treasury recently informed his office of $10.5 million being approved for American Samoa under the State Small Business Community Initiative (SSBCI).

The SSBCI program is one of two programs that Congress created through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to help small businesses gain access to new credit lines and critical capital that will spur job creation.

“As a major source of employment, small businesses in American Samoa would receive much needed capital to help them expand and hire more workers,” Faleomavaega  said, adding that ASG would still need to sign a finalized agreement for the funding/allocation process to be completed.

SSBCI is administered locally by the ASG Office of Federal Programs (in the Governor’s Office), which will use these funds to support a new collateral support program called the American Samoa Credit Support Program that will provide cash collateral to lenders to support new small business lending, said Faleomavaega. 

“I… want to thank Governor Togiola and the American Samoa Government for their hard work to make sure that American Samoa put in a complete application to get approval under the SSBCI program,” he said and also thanked US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for his support of American Samoa.

ASG will soon announce more details on how small businesses can apply for this program, once the agreement is signed.

In his address to the Fono last week Monday, the governor said ASG looks forward to working with island lenders and entrepreneurs to generate up to $100 million in new loans with the support of the SSBCI.

“This program has the potential to be a key driver of economic growth in the Territory over the next five years,” he said.