SBA Awards $5 Million in PRIME Grants to Help Emerging Micro-entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital
Awards Chosen Include Eight Provider Organizations Located in Opportunity Zones
WASHINGTON – Thirty organizations across the United States that provide assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs are set to receive a combined $5 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, or more commonly known as PRIME. These non-profit organizations help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.
The SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those that service entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones, rural areas, and HUBZones.
“The SBA is proud to help small businesses access capital while also ensuring they have access to the resources and training needed to create healthy, sustainable businesses,” SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton said. “We are proud that this year’s PRIME grant awardees include organizations that are located in Opportunity Zones which are designed to spur economic development in disadvantaged areas.”
This year’s 30 recipients come from 22 states, and eight of the recipients are in Opportunity Zones. President Trump signed legislation creating Opportunity Zones in 2017 to spur new capital investment in America’s economically distressed communities. Nearly 9,000 communities in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. The PRIME grants range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions. In total, over 130 organizations applied for PRIME grants for 2019.
PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2019, and the project period for each grant is one year.