Subject to any prior contractual obligations to any of its bondholders, the authority may establish one or more small business assistance funds in order to do any of the following:
Assist small businesses to achieve financing of pollution control facilities.
Assist with the financing of the costs of, among other things, assessment, remedial planning and reporting, technical assistance, cleanup, remediation, and development of brownfield sites, and with other similar or related costs, by providing loans pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 44526.
Fund a capital access program for small businesses pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 44559).
For the purpose of establishing and maintaining small business assistance funds as it determines to be necessary or desirable to secure its bonds or any issuance thereof or for other authorized purposes, the authority, pursuant to its contracts with participating parties, may levy fees or other charges on, or require deposits from, participating parties receiving financing for a project under this division. The total amount of these fees, charges, and deposits with respect to a single issue of bonds shall not exceed 3 percent of the principal amount of that issue of bonds.
Prior to levying any fees or charges or requiring deposits, the authority shall adopt regulations for the operation of the small business assistance funds, the amounts and any payment schedule for the fees, charges, or deposits, eligibility standards for small businesses desiring to use or benefit from the small business assistance funds, and any other matters the authority determines to be necessary for the establishment and maintenance of small business assistance funds. The regulations may provide for differential fees from participating parties based upon the size of a project financed by the authority or other factors determined to be relevant by the authority, and the regulations may restrict any benefits to those eligible small businesses specified in the regulations.
The authority may transfer any funds available to it or set aside for its administrative expenses to any small business assistance fund established under this section.
The forms of financial assistance that the authority may provide under this section include, but are not limited to all of the following:
Payments to reduce, but not eliminate, the interest rate on loans.
Payments of part or all of the cost of acquiring letters of credit.
Payments of part or all of the cost of acquiring insurance.
Payments of part or all of the cost of acquiring guarantees.
Payments of part or all of the cost of acquiring other forms of credit support.
Payments of part or all of the authority’s expenses in issuing revenue bonds or providing other assistance.
The authority may also pledge any small business assistance fund, on an individual or pooled basis, to repay, directly or indirectly, the principal of, or interest or premium on, any issue of bonds of the authority or any loan made or acquired pursuant to this section.
The authority may also use moneys in a small business assistance fund to assist in the financing of the costs of assessment of, remedial planning and reporting for, technical assistance for, and the cleanup, remediation or development of, brownfield sites, and of other similar or related costs, by providing loans, pursuant to, and under the terms permitted by, subdivision (h) of Section 44526.
In addition to other purposes set forth in this section, the authority may use moneys in a small business assistance fund to make or acquire loans or guarantee commercial loans to participating parties eligible for assistance from those funds.
Any moneys repaid or returned to the authority in connection with or as a result of any loan or financial assistance made pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the small business assistance fund from which the loan or assistance was originally provided.
The authority may contract with qualified financial institutions, including, but not limited to, banks, investment and mortgage bankers, insurance companies, sureties, and guarantors, to provide any necessary assistance in the granting of credit for these purposes.
Each small business assistance fund established pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a special account that the Controller shall create. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to any requirements of federal tax law or regulations relative to maintaining the tax-exempt status of the obligations of the authority, all interest or other gains earned by investment or deposit of money in the special account pursuant to any provision of Part 2 (commencing with Section 16300) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code or pursuant to any other provision of law shall be credited to, and deposited in, the account.
In carrying out this section, the authority shall participate with the air pollution control districts and air quality management districts in providing financial assistance in its lending programs.