The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded 27 organizations Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) grant awards. The PRIME business grants equate to a total of $5.2 million.
Micro-Entrepreneurs Awarded $5.2M in PRIME Business Grants
The PRIME grant awards are designed to support nonprofit organizations focused on helping entrepreneurs on low incomes get sufficient financing to establish and expand their business. The organizations provide small business owners with direct technical assistance. They also provide capacity-building training for organizations that provide capital to undeserved small businesses.
PRIME Grant Selection Process
PRIME was established by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999.
Small businesses across the US have been hit hard by the pandemic, making it more vital than ever they have the right resources and training to help nurture growth. This is especially prevalent in economically-deprived communities that often lack the right facilities for growth.
The PRIME grant funds are designed to help bridge such gaps, funding nonprofits so they are better equipped to assist small businesses that may be struggling.
This year’s selection process was especially centered on projects that will provide training and technical assistance to help strengthen businesses that are economically disadvantaged.
Special emphasis was also given to organizations that provide services to entrepreneurs located in rural areas, and those in Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones provide a tax break in which investors can use capital gains to support long-term economic development in almost 9.000 designated low-income communities throughout the US.
Emphasis was also given to those in HUBZones, which are historically underutilized business zones.
As SBA Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, comments on the focus of the PRIME grant selection process:
““The Biden-Harris Administration and Congress have worked together tirelessly to ensure our nation’s small businesses have the resources they need to survive this pandemic and build back better.
“This year, SBA focused our PRIME grant selection process on our nonprofit partners who can best bring federal resources to life, especially in the regions and communities where they are needed most. I look forward to partnering with these organizations as they help us connect America’s entrepreneurs with the capital they need to start and grow their enterprises,” Casillas Guzman said.
A total of 101 organizations applied for PRIME grants in 2021. Out of the 27 recipients of the PRIME grant awards, 15 provide services to Opportunity Zones. 12 provide services in HUBZones.
The grant awards range from $75,000 to $250,000. Recipients are typically required to provide at least 50% in matching funds or in-kind contributions.
Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2021.