The federal government wants to send Kansas $13 million to help generate more small-business loans, but the state doesn't have anyone to receive it, yet.
The money is part of the U.S. Treasury Department's $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative, part of the recently passed Small Business Jobs Act.
The federal plan is to funnel the money through state small-business lending programs. Each federal dollar is intended to leverage $10 from other sources.
The problem is that Kansas doesn't have a small-business lending program.
Kansas Department of Commerce spokesman Joe Monaco said the department is discussing how to capture the money. It might be handled within the department or it might require action by the Kansas Legislature, which starts meeting in January.
"We are definitely looking into a way to tap this $13 million allocation," he said.
"We need to have a qualified state-level program, and we don't have one," he said. "It's our impression that more than half of the states do not have one."
The program allows states to provide:
* Collateral support programs to help viable businesses that are struggling to get credit because the value of collateral has fallen, often because of a decline in commercial real estate values. These programs set aside funds to bolster collateral the borrower already holds, giving banks more confidence to extend credit.
* Loan portfolio insurance programs to provide matching contributions to bank loan loss reserves when lenders extend credit to qualified small businesses.
* Partial guarantees on certain small-business loans.