SBA Administrator Presents $3.5M in PRIME Grants
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today the 2014 recipients of SBA’s Program for Investment in Micro entrepreneurs Act (PRIME) grant awards. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, headed to New York City and presented one of the awardees, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (REDC) with their check, alongside Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), House Small Business Committee Ranking Member.
REDC is an SBA-approved Micro-lender and provides direct financing and technical assistance services to entrepreneurs throughout New York City, focusing on low-income, immigrant neighborhoods where barriers of language, culture and conventional loan underwriting have stymied the growth of small businesses.
“PRIME grants are an important vehicle for the SBA to provide ladders of opportunity to underserved, economically disadvantaged small business communities. These micro-loans have a macro-impact by spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and propelling small businesses forward. This round of PRIME grants will help create more success stories across this city, this state and our nation.” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet.
PRIME grants are intended to help qualified community-based organizations provide training to small businesses with five or fewer employees that are economically disadvantaged, and businesses owned by low-income individuals, including those who live on Indian reservations and tribal lands. Twenty-four nonprofit organizations from 16 states and the District of Columbia were named this year. Grant awards ranged from $94,000 to $250,000 and totaled $3.5 million. The grants require a 50 percent matching funds contribution by each recipient organization.
This year, SBA focused the program on two technical assistance approaches to strengthening business success:
Helping entrepreneurs implement automated financial accounting, financial reporting and inventory management systems; and,
Promoting and assisting in the development of worker ownership and worker-owed cooperatives, especially in low income and underserved communities.
Last year, the SBA broke its record for lending to Hispanic-owned businesses by supporting nearly 3,400 loans totaling more than $850 million dollars to Hispanic-owned businesses. Additionally, the SBA provided counseling and training to more than 55,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs.
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Overall, Hispanics are starting and growing new businesses at nearly twice the rate of the general population. Hispanic small business owners play an integral role in the U.S economy and are continuously helping the economy recover from the Great Recession.
For more information on PRIME grants and a list of this year’s awardees, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/prime-grantees.