Financing Program: Helping Small Businesses Become ADA Compliant

calcapA June 2 webinar will help businesses learn more about a new loan program to assist California small businesses with financing the costs to alter or retrofit existing small business facilities to comply with the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In October 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 1230 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles), appropriating $10 million to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) to establish the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Americans with Disabilities Act (CalCAP/ADA) Financing Program.

CalCAP is a form of loan portfolio insurance that may provide up to 100% coverage on certain loan defaults. By participating in CalCAP, lenders have available to them a proven credit enhancement to meet the financing needs of California’s small businesses.

Eligible Uses of Loan Proceeds

Proceeds from loans enrolled in the CalCAP/ADA Financing Program may be used for physically altering or retrofitting existing small business facilities of less than 10,000 square feet if the costs are necessary and allocable for compliance with the ADA.

Eligible costs also may include the cost of surveying facilities, estimating and planning eligible alterations, and other related expenses, but do not include business expansion.

Eligible Small Businesses

California small businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible for the CalCAP/ADA Program:

  • Has 15 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
  • Has a total annual gross income from all sources of less than $ 1 million.
  • Facilities with 10,000 or less square feet.
  • Does not provide overnight accommodations.
  • Is not engaged in activities prohibited by California Code of Regulations §8070 (s) (4) (A).

Eligible Lenders

Any federal or state-chartered bank, savings association, certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), or credit union is eligible to participate in CalCAP. A lender must certify that it is in good standing with its regulatory body (Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Comptroller of Currency, Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Administration, or state banking authority). Finance Lenders, micro lenders and others regulated by the Department of Business Oversight also may be eligible.


The maximum enrolled loan amount is $50,000 and can be insured for up to five years (though the actual term of the loan can be longer). Lenders set all of the terms and conditions of the loans. Loans can be short or long-term, have fixed or variable rates, be secured or unsecured, and bear any type of amortization schedule.


CalCAP/ADA, currently in the program development phase, is offering a webinar to introduce the program and solicit input as CPCFA initiates the rulemaking process.  Click on the link to register:

Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera took over as president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce on October 1, 2021. Previously, she oversaw the development and implementation of policy and strategy as executive vice president and represented the CalChamber on legal reform issues. She led CalChamber advocacy on labor and employment and taxation from September 2010 through the end of 2017. As senior policy advocate in 2017, she worked with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy. Before joining the CalChamber, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law. See full bio.