She said the Mountain State will distribute all of its $13.1 million allocation by the end of summer, which is ahead of most states.
In a progress report presented during April's legislative session to the West Virginia Senate Economic Development Committee, WVJIT said West Virginia has the fourth-highest use of funds as a percentage of funds assigned in the nation.
The WVCAP has approved more than 30 funding requests totaling more than $10 million, O'Connor said. Of that, 23 of the investments have been closed for nearly $6 million in WVCAP funds.
"Those states that relied heavily on banks accessing the funds and lending have not faired as well as states that chose paths such as ours to disperse the money," O'Connor said. "The continuing challenge has been bank participation."
Berkeley Springs Instruments President Gene Silverman said he has dealt with a lot of banks over the years -- which is why he reached out to WVCAP when he wanted to expand his company.
INNOVA and the Jobs Investment Trust each invested $500,000 in loans to help the high tech pipeline sensor manufacturer open a research and development facility in Morgan County and launch its newest product. The wireless Eagle Array Sensor monitors the thickness of oil and gas pipelines and tanks to make the data available to customers on the Internet.
Silverman said his business is high-risk, but there is much more room to grow, which is why more money is necessary.
Nontraditional lenders are willing to take higher risks, said Matt Wender, marketing liaison for the state program.
"Banks are still reluctant to take any risk at all without a 100 percent guarantee," Silverman said, "and I think this program is perfect for product development opportunities for us. For us, it's absolutely perfect."
Silverman said all of the components came together at once, from new technology to data transmissions, to expand Berkeley Springs Instruments. The missing element was the funding.
He said he chose the WVCAP route because "it was very, very attractive to us" for its willingness to help West Virginia companies, fair terms and an overall easier experience.
"There is no doubt that several of these companies wouldn't be able to either continue or start without these funds," O'Connor said. "If it weren't for these dollars, these transactions couldn't happen."
"I don't know if any of these companies could raise this money without this program," Wender said. "To have access to traditional sources of lending, I don't think there is anyone on this list who couldn't do it without WVCAP."
The companies the state-run program has sourced aren't just high tech companies, either, Wender said.
B&L Farm in Summersville got help to purchase 166 additional acres. Owner Brian Sparks raises grass-fed beef along with lamb and wool production.
Chris Loftis reached out to WVCAP to restart a former bowling alley. Loftis Lanes now employs four full-time and 18 part-time workers.
The Jobs Investment Trust provided funds to US Glass, new owner of Fenton Art Glass Co., to help the company resume production of art glass. The money will be used for operating capital, marketing and advertising support.
O'Connor said the U.S. Treasury is impressed with what West Virginia has done with the capital program.
Clifton Kellogg, director of the SSBCI, reiterated that statement in an email to The Charleston Gazette.
"West Virginia has done an exceptional job of quickly deploying these funds so their small businesses can invest, expand, and hire," Kellogg said.
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.