Learn directly from our partner federal agencies on the most recent announcements and news related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
SBA Launches 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, Debuts SBIR Catalyst to Award over $5 Million in Prizes
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) with the addition of a new component aimed at spurring investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs will recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development (R&D). New to this year’s competition, two tracks will run totaling over $5 million in cash prizes. “The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs -- including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions -- so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.” Track 1-The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC): Prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to accelerators, incubators, and related entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)/R&D entrepreneurs. This year, the competition will award an estimated 84 prizes to successful applicants who focus their proposed efforts on assisting the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues such as clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant (i.e., rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.). Track 2- SBIR Catalyst: For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of SBIR/STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) applicants and awardees, fulfilling SBA’s mission of addressing gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities. For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing the relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals. Competition rules, requirements and additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/accelerators. Submission period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to June 25, 2021 4:00 PM EDT Winners to Be Announced: August 2021 About the SBIR and STTR Programs The SBIR/STTR programs represent the nation’s largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. SBA coordinates the programs, collaborating with 11 federal agencies, who collectively supported more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding. www.sbir.gov. 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 and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Jun 3, 2021
SBA Administrator Issues Statement on the Closure of Paycheck Protection Program
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman issued the following statement on the closure of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to new loan guaranty applications, which has provided over $798 billion in economic relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the nation, keeping employees employed and helping businesses come back stronger than ever. “The Paycheck Protection Program provided over 8.5 million small businesses and nonprofits the lifeline they needed to survive during a once-in-generation economic crisis. I’ve heard story after story from small business owners across the country about how PPP funds helped them keep the lights on, pay their employees -- and gave them hope,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “At the same time, millions of underserved businesses – particularly our smallest businesses and those owned by women and people of color – were left out of early rounds of relief. I’m proud of the work we did to begin to rectify these inequities -- in 2021, 96% of PPP loans went to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize equity in all SBA’s programs and services.” The Paycheck Protection Program, among the first COVID-19 economic disaster relief programs to provide emergency funds to small businesses affected by the pandemic, has played a historic role in America’s recovery. The Biden-Harris Administration has pushed an effective and equitable implementation of this program, with a focus on ensuring small businesses receive the backing they need to stay afloat and continue to employ millions of Americans. The program has supported the smallest of small businesses with 32 percent of the loans going to Low-and-Moderate Income (LMI) communities. Additionally, Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) played a pivotal role in 2021 PPP lending to underserved communities during this period, providing 1.5 million loans totaling $30 billion. PPP loans in 2021 averaged $42,000, another indicator of targeted relief to the smallest small businesses. The PPP is only one of eight disaster relief programs established by Congress to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other programs include Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Advance, Targeted EIDL Advance, Supplemental EIDL Advance, Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, and SBA Debt Relief program. To learn more about these programs, please visit www.sba.gov/relief. ### 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.
Jun 3, 2021
SBA Launches ‘Community Navigator Pilot’ Program Application
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that it is accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. This new initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. SBA will accept applications through July 12, 2021, and anticipates making award decisions by August 2021. The Biden-Harris Administration has made delivering equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses a top priority and will continue to take steps to ensure equitable distribution of relief. “The Community Navigator Pilot Program is a crucial addition to our SBA programs because it helps us to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind. These businesses – the smallest of the small in rural and urban America, and those owned by women, people of color, or veterans – have suffered the greatest economic loss from this pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We’ll be using a hub and spoke model in local regions across the nation to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and SBA’s resources and programs. If we’re going to build back better, we need to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the support they need to recover.” In February 2021, Congress met to provide a blueprint on assistance to small businesses with provisions under the American Rescue Plan. Members of Congress met with constituents to discover at local levels the impact of the pandemic and the effect it is having on businesses that may have been left out in early rounds of relief. “I’ve spoken to small businesses in every corner of Arizona. Far too many of them, especially tribal and minority-owned businesses and those in rural communities, have been unable to get the support they need,” said Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona. It’s why I fought to include the Community Navigator Program in the American Rescue Plan because it will help meet Arizona small businesses right in their communities, including providing assistance for Spanish-speakers, and get them the relief they need to keep their doors open and workers on payroll.” “As someone proudly representing one of the most diverse congressional districts in the country, I am glad the Community Navigator Pilot Program will soon be launching,” said Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia. “We have already seen the difficulties diverse communities face in accessing critically-needed relief resources, from securing PPP funds to rental relief. Through targeted outreach to small businesses in underserved communities, we can ensure that everyone is able to take advantage of the resources offered by the American Rescue Plan.” The Community Navigator Notice of Funding Opportunity will be open to applications from nonprofit organizations, state, local, and tribal governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations. Selected partners will engage in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities to help small businesses get the resources and support they need to get back on track as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our small business owners—especially those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, people of color, women, veterans, and Native Americans—they need us the most, and they need us now,” said SBA Associate Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid. “This initiative underscores our Agency’s commitment to connecting distressed small business resources with SBA resources and grant funding.” “The SBA understands the importance of partnering with organizations as well as smaller, local institutions that are already embedded in the fabric of the Main Street business communities they serve,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership Natalie Madeira Cofield. “Community Navigators are the backbone of aiding underserved and underrepresented communities across the nation with recovery.” Making a Difference in Underserved Small Business Communities. Key in this initiative are partners and people in the community, serving as a two-way information stream, enabling enterprising business owners to receive the help needed from the SBA. Serving as the foundation of America’s economy, these underserved businesses have areas of concern that need to be addressed. Community Navigator Pilot will provide counseling, networking, and the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery. Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 12, 2021, to submit their applications at grants.gov. Performance periods are projected to commence in September 2021. Those eligible to apply must meet and demonstrate abilities to support the requirements of this funding opportunity. For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, please visit www.sba.gov/navigators. ### About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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.
May 26, 2021
In Historic Move, USDA to Begin Loan Payments to Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers under American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005
WASHINGTON, May 21, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) today published the first notice of funding availability (NOFA) (PDF, 242 KB) announcing loan payments for eligible borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005. The official NOFA will be published in the Federal Register early next week and USDA expects payments to begin in early June and continue on a rolling basis. A subsequent notice addressing guaranteed loan balances and direct loans that no longer have collateral and have been previously referred to the Department of Treasury for debt collection for offset, will be published within 120 days. “The American Rescue Plan has made it possible for USDA to deliver historic debt relief to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers beginning in June,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is recommitting itself to gaining the trust and confidence of America’s farmers and ranchers using a new set of tools provided in the American Rescue Plan to increase opportunity, advance equity and address systemic discrimination in USDA programs.” Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides funding and authorization for USDA FSA to pay up to 120 percent of direct and guaranteed loan outstanding balances as of January 1, 2021, for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as defined in Section 2501(a) of the Food, Agriculture Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(a)). Section 2501(a) defines a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher as a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group, which is further defined as a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Qualifying loans as part of today’s announcement are certain direct loans under the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) and Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL). For much of the history of the USDA, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have faced discrimination—sometimes overt and sometimes through deeply embedded rules and policies—that have prevented them from achieving as much as their counterparts who do not face these documented acts of discrimination. Over the past 30 years, several major civil rights lawsuits have compensated farmers for specific acts of discrimination—including Pigford I and Pigford II, Keepseagle, and the Garcia cases. However, those settlements and other related actions did not address the systemic and cumulative impacts of discrimination over a number of decades that the American Rescue Plan now begins to address. Sections 1005 and 1006 of ARPA provide USDA with new tools to address longstanding inequities for socially disadvantaged borrowers. Section 1006 of ARPA provides additional funding to begin long-term racial equity work within USDA, including to address heirs property claims and to stand up an Equity Commission to identify barriers to access USDA programming. To learn more about the loan payments to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, visit www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan. USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov. # USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
May 22, 2021
SBA Launches “Getting Back on Track: Help Is Here” Webinar Series to Help America’s Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the non-profit Public Private Strategies Institute will launch a new regional webinar series, “Getting Back on Track: Help is Here,” to provide Main Street entrepreneurs with the information and resources they need to continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The educational webinars will feature speakers from The White House, the SBA, Members of Congress, and small business leaders, and will provide updates on the American Rescue Plan. “The 'Getting Back on Track: Help is Here' webinar series is an important outreach effort to help small businesses recover, rebuild and gain resiliency,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Small businesses are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as marketplaces and main streets reopen thanks to strong vaccination rates. We are empowering small businesses to reopen fully and safely by connecting them with helpful resources and tools, including the Biden-Administration's tax credits that cover paid time-off for employees getting vaccinated. We all must double down on our efforts to help our beloved small businesses survive and get our economy back on track.” “This webinar series is designed to reach the hardest-hit small business owners across the country with regionally focused conversations connecting them to local resources and to give them the steps they need to build back better,” said Rhett Buttle, Public Private Strategies Institute senior advisor. “The program will focus on three key areas: economic recovery and access to capital options, digital tools, and resources to allow small business owners to be vaccine leaders with their employees and communities.” The new series builds on a successful national webinar series hosted by the SBA and Public Private Strategies Institute, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s action to create additional access to the Paycheck Protection Program for America’s smallest businesses. That webinar series provided resources and information to more than 80,000 small business owners across the country. To join one of the regional webinars in this series and learn more about programs that will help small businesses get back on track, register at Getting Back on Track: Help is Here! Schedule Thursday, May 20, 2021 – 4 p.m. EDT: Region 4 Serving - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee Thursday, May 27, 2021 -2 p.m. EDT: Serving - Community Organizations and Groups Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 5 Serving - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 9 Serving - Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 6 Serving - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 1 Serving - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont Thursday, July 15, 2021 – 2 p.m. EDT: Region 7 Serving - Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, and Region 10 Serving - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Thursday, July 22, 2021 – 2 p.m. EDT: Region 2 Serving - New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and The U.S. Virgin Islands Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 8 Serving - Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 2 p.m. EDT: Region 3 Serving - Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia Disclaimer Cosponsorship Authorization # 21-0501-14: The SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. 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.
May 21, 2021
(May 14, 2021) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has implemented a series of actions to make it easier for very small rural businesses to get access to capital. |
(May 14, 2021) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has implemented a series of actions to make it easier for very small rural businesses to get access to capital. | . For more details visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/usda_rdsa_rmap_final_rule_fy-2021may142021.pdf
May 17, 2021
Federal Reserve Board announces the third extension of a rule to bolster the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Federal Reserve Board on Friday announced the third extension of a rule to bolster the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Like the earlier extensions, this one will temporarily modify the Board's rules so that certain bank directors and shareholders can apply to their banks for PPP loans for their small businesses.To prevent favoritism, the Board limits the types and quantity of loans that bank directors, shareholders, officers, and businesses owned by these persons can receive from their affiliated banks. However, these limits have prevented some small business owners from accessing PPP loans—especially in rural areas.The SBA clarified last year that PPP lenders can make PPP loans to businesses owned by their directors and certain shareholders, subject to certain limits, and without favoritism. The Board's rule extension will allow those individuals to apply for PPP loans, consistent with SBA's rules and restrictions. The extension only applies to PPP loans.The Board is providing the rule extension for PPP loans made since March 31, and to allow banks to continue to make PPP loans to a broad range of small businesses within their communities. The SBA explicitly has prohibited banks from prioritizing or providing favorable processing time to PPP loan applications from a director or equity holder, and the Board will administer the rule extension accordingly.The rule extension, which is effective immediately, applies to PPP loans made from March 31 through June 30, 2021. The rule change will continue to apply if the PPP is extended, with the change ultimately sunsetting on March 31, 2022. Comments will be accepted for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.For media inquiries, please call 202-452-2955
May 17, 2021
The SBA Funds 16,000 Restaurant Revitalization Fund Awards
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin delivering economic relief from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan and signed into law by President Joe Biden, to more than 16,000 approved applicants. This first round of funding represents over $2 billion of relief awarded since last Monday’s successful program launch. Restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation will begin to see funds in bank accounts as early as Tuesday, May 11. “Just one week after launching the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, I am pleased to officially report that the SBA has begun to fund applications and that more than 16,000 restaurants and other food and beverage business owners will get much-needed relief in their hands,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We know that this help is urgently needed by so many who have suffered disproportionately from this pandemic and have often been unable to access relief. Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets across the nation. The SBA is here to help them build resilience to survive this pandemic as we get our economy back on track.” Under RRF, restaurants are eligible for funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, capped at $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The SBA will continue to fund approved applications until all funds have been exhausted. SBA has prioritized a customer-centric approach to the delivery of economic aid, eliminating cumbersome application requirements, streamlining the application process, and by partnering with point-of-sale (POS) vendors to provide seamless ways to apply to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Following the 21-day priority period, all eligible applications will be funded in the order in which they have been received. While the SBA will continue accepting applications from any eligible establishment until funds are exhausted, the number of applications received so far could exhaust the funds authorized to fund the RRF. Interested onsite food establishments may still apply through SBA-recognized POS vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal: https://restaurants.sba.gov. ### 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.
May 11, 2021
Bipartisan Mayors Meet with SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, Discuss Shared Economic Vision
On April 8, Administrator Guzman met with a bipartisan delegation from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and signed a Strategic Alliance Memo between SBA and USCM that reaffirms the groups’ shared commitment to supporting small businesses in cities across the country. Read more about these priorities and meeting highlights. “It was a privilege to meet with a bipartisan delegation of mayors to discuss what our nation’s entrepreneurs need to recover and rebuild from this pandemic. I look forward to joining forces with the U.S. Conference of Mayors in the months ahead as we work to bring back the small businesses and innovative startups that define the character of our nation’s cities, create jobs and build an equitable economy that works for everyone," said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
May 10, 2021
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
This grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19.
Apr 6, 2021
IMPORTANT Sign up to join the PPP Webinar Series - 2 NEW SESSIONS AND RECORDINGS ADDED!
Due to popular demand, SBA added two more webinars! Please use this link to go to the general registration area for the PPP webinar series: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSBA/bulletins/2c53db3 Anyone who wishes to listen to recorded versions of previous webinars can access that here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/get-help-your-ppp-loan
Mar 4, 2021
Market research and competitive analysis
Market research helps you find customers for your business. Competitive analysis helps you make your business unique. Combine them to find a competitive advantage for your small business.
Jan 31, 2021
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