SBA awards $5M to organizations in 18 states and Puerto Rico

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

The Small Business Administration recently awarded $5 Million in PRIME Grants Funds to finance Training & Technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Thirty-nine community-based organizations across the United States that provide assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs are set to receive $5 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME). 

These organizations help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses. “By training low-income and disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses, particularly through the smart use of information technology, the PRIME Program helps small businesses thrive in a 21st century economy,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the SBA.

“The beauty of PRIME is that it assists small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs to become lender ready, complementing the roughly $140 million approved this year through SBA’s mission-based lending programs.”  This year’s 39 recipients come from 16 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The grants range from $35,000 to $200,000 and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions.  In total, 104 organizations applied for PRIME awards.

SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on applications for projects utilizing information technology and software to help small businesses start, strengthen and/or grow.  Assisting small businesses with the tools needed to implement automated financial accounting, financial reporting, inventory management and web-based marketing and distribution is emerging as an industry best practice among SBA’s most successful microlenders.

This year’s awards also emphasized organizations participating in SBA’s Community Advantage Program.  This program provides mission-oriented, non-profit lenders access to SBA’s 7(a) loan guarantees to help small businesses that have outgrown microlending but are not able to access more traditional financing, including funding from SBA commercial lending partners.

Twenty SBA Community Advantage lenders submitted applications, and 13 were selected for PRIME awards.  PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in microentrepreneurs Act of 1999.

For more information on PRIME grants and a list of this year’s grantees, visit

Communities Unlimited, Inc. Fayetteville AR
Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association Salinas CA
Ampac Tri-State CDC Grand Terrace CA
Fresno Community Development Financial Institution Fresno CA
OBDC Small Business Finance Oakland CA
Pacific Asian Consortium In Employment (PACE) Los Angeles CA
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center San Francisco CA
Valley Economic Development Center Van Nuys CA
Vermont-Slauson LDC, Inc. Los Angeles CA
Credit Builders Alliance Washington DC
Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation Tampa FL
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation London KY
Harbor Bank CDC Baltimore MD
Maryland Capital Enterprise Easton MD
MaineStream Finance Bangor ME
Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation St. Louis MO
Montana Community Development Corporation Missoula MT
Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation Newark NJ
Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC) Cranford NJ
Business Outreach Center Network, Inc. Brooklyn NY
CAMBA, Inc. Brooklyn NY
Community Capital New York, Inc. Hawthorne NY
Ibero American Action League, Inc. Rochester NY
NYBDC Local Development Corporation Albany NY
Economic and Community Development Institute Columbus OH
Cherokee Nation Tahlequah OK
Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. Durant OK
Adelante Mujeres Forest Grove OR
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon Portland OR
Community Capital Works (dba Entrepreneur Works Fund) Philadelphia PA
FINANTA Philadelphia PA
The Enterprise Center Philadelphia PA
Corp. Para El Financiamiento Empresarial Del Com. Y De Las Comunidades (COFECC) San Juan PR
Southeast Community Capital Corporation dba Pathway Lending Nashville TN
LiftFund, Inc. San Antonio TX
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders San Antonio TX
PeopleFund Austin TX
Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help Seattle WA
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Milwaukee WI
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *