• Tue. May 28th, 2024

New Program Offers Opportunity For Very Small And Disadvantaged Businesses

By: Rhett Buttle

Very small businesses and businesses owned by disadvantaged individuals sometimes need extra help connecting to opportunities that are available to them like access to capital and contracting opportunities. A new program through the U.S. Treasury Department opening up to states, the District of Columbia, and Tribal governments will now give them the technical assistance to do so.

The Investing in America Small Business Opportunity Program is a $75 million competitive grant program that will provide funding to jurisdictions who are participating in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI provides funding to states, territories, and eligible municipalities to support or create small business investment programs, including state capital access and loan guarantee programs. A provision in the American Rescue Plan Act reauthorized and expanded the SSBCI, which supports small businesses in accessing the capital needed to grow their business and create more jobs. Every $1 of SSBCI investment is expected to catalyze up to $10 of private investment.

Now, with the Investing in America Small Business Opportunity Program between eight and 15 jurisdictions will be selected to provide technical assistance programs for very small businesses and businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to access programs offered by the Biden-Harris Administration.

“These investments are a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to fuel the small business boom by providing small businesses and entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo recently said when announcing SSCBI funding efforts.

Individual grant awards are expected to range from $5 million to $10 million for creating proposed technical assistance programs that will connect these businesses to legal, accounting, and financial advisory services. Applications can come from states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Tribal governments that applied for the SSBCI Capital Program, but need to propose programs to serve businesses with fewer than 10 employees or eligible underserved businesses. The Treasury Department also says successful applications will need to show how they will help them participate in projects through the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Treasury Department said the application portal will open in the coming weeks and once it is open, there will be a 60-day application submission window. The application deadline is expected to be in the spring of this year with awards being announced in the summer or fall. A Department of Treasury webinar and funding announcement provides more information for potential applicants.

The Investing in America Agenda is one of the most unprecedented investments opportunities for Main Streets across the country. This program has the potential to help support the impressive small business growth we’ve seen over the last few years.

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