SBA Awards Three Wisconsin Organizations $528,000 in PRIME Grants to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., ADVOCAP, and Northwest Side Community Development Corp. are set to receive grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, more commonly known as PRIME. This is a first-time award for Milwaukee-based NWSCDC.
- NWSCDC’s award of $140,000 will support entrepreneurs in its northwest Milwaukee service area that includes 19 Opportunity Zone census tracts. Willie Smith, executive director of NWSCDC responded to the award saying, “We’re thrilled to partner with SBA and serve more small businesses on Milwaukee’s northwest side. We have an energetic team that wants to help our neighbors start a business and grow their operation.”
- ADVOCAP’s award of $188,000 will target rural low-income entrepreneurs with training and technical assistance services in Fond du Lac, Winnebago, and Green Lake counties. Kathy Doyle, ADVOCAP’s director for business development noted,
“With this grant many of our entrepreneurs will have access to training, technical assistance and SBA micro-loan funds which will help them start, expand and grow their businesses. Not only will this help entrepreneurs succeed but it will add jobs and revenue to our service area.”
- WWBIC’s award of $200,000 will support technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs throughout the state. Chief Visionary Officer Wendy Baumann noted, “These funds specifically allow us to continue to work with very, very low- income communities and individuals. WWBIC is proud to provide our quality business and financial programs and resources in Opportunity Zones, rural areas and HUBZones across Wisconsin – reaching deeper in our communities at promise.”
“These funds from the SBA will help these three Wisconsin small business champions make an impact on entrepreneurs trying to take their business to the next level and make it sustainable during this challenging time,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “This business development also will make an impact on local economies and help spur economic development and job creation in distressed areas, which is a key element of SBA’s strategy.”
Wisconsin’s SBA District Director Eric Ness added, “Partners like these three organizations are crucial to SBA’s work of helping small businesses start, grow, expand, and recover. We look forward to seeing the impact of these funds on the small businesses they serve and working with them to leverage their impact.”
For 2020, the SBA placed special emphasis on projects designed to offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those projects serving entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones, rural areas and Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The 30 PRIME grant recipients represent 19 states and 23 are in Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and designed 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 are designated as Opportunity Zones.
This year more than 120 organizations applied for PRIME grants, which range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50% in matching funds or in-kind contributions. 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, 2020, and the project period for each grant is one year.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
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. To learn more visit www.sba.gov.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color, veterans and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $77 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $24 million and over 570 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com