WASHINGTON - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it is seeking grant proposals to award up to $1.5 million in grant funding to for-profit and non-profit service providers including, but not limited to, universities, trade and professional associations, firms, and other organizations for special projects to promote the development, success, and long-term survival of small disadvantaged businesses that participate in the agency's 8(a) Business Development Program.
The SBA expects to award 6-10 grants in the range of $150,000-$250,000, and that up to two awards may be made to small businesses. Applications will be accepted through July 20, 2014, and awards will be issued by September 30, 2014.
Under this initiative, grants will be made to service providers to enable them to make unique management and technical assistance services available to eligible small businesses that are approved by the SBA to receive services. Specifically, SBA is seeking unique and innovative projects to provide specialized training, executive education, and tools to promote business development of eligible firms. However, grants cannot be used by small businesses themselves as a source of funding to grow or otherwise expand their individual enterprises.
John Shoraka, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, noted that "One key strategic goal of the SBA is to genuinely broaden and deepen entrepreneurial education and counseling resources for small businesses." He added "This initiative is directly linked to that goal. The services we are now looking for will increase opportunities for potentially high-growth small businesses, especially small firms that do business with the government."
Through these projects, the SBA intends to increase the range of services available to eligible firms by addressing many issues facing them including, but not limited to:
- teaming with other businesses;
- mastering the process of federal contracting;
- reversing declines and turning around businesses; and
- securing loan financing or private equity funding.
To submit a proposal for funding under this initiative, an applicant:
- may be a for-profit or not-for-profit entity (including, but not limited to small businesses; other-than small businesses; trade and professional associations, and educational institutions);
- must have been in existence continually for at least three years;
- must demonstrate substantive experience dealing with issues relating to small business; and,
- must demonstrate that it has the capacity to provide assistance to small businesses.