The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded 27 organizations across the United States a total of $5.2 million under the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) grant awards. In Arizona, Prestamos, the award-winning Community Development Financial Institution and Community Development Entity that provides small business loans and high quality technical support services to its clients, was a recipient. PRIME supports these nonprofit organizations as they help low-income entrepreneurs get financing to establish and expand their small businesses by providing direct technical assistance, or provide capacity-building training for other organizations that provide capital to underserved small businesses.
“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,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “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.”
Congress established PRIME as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be made available on September 30, 2021, and the project period for each grant is one year.
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.
Among this year’s 27 recipients, 15 provide services in Opportunity Zones and 12 provide services in HUBZones. Nearly 9,000 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. 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 101 organizations applied for PRIME grants for 2021.
For more information on the SBA’s PRIME grants and a list of this year’s grantees, visit https://www.sba.gov/document/support-prime-grantees.
Opportunity Zones provide a tax break in which investors can use capital gains to support long-term economic development in nearly 9,000 designated low-income communities across the country. An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service.
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.