SBA Identifies $110 Million for Reinvestment in Existing 63 Small Business Development Centers; Solicitation Emphasizes Jobs Supported, Economic Development Assistance to Small Manufacturers, Leveraging of Distance Learning Programs; Applications Due August 31
The Small Business Development Center program is the Small Business Administration's largest matching grant, funding a service delivery network to provide high quality business and economic development assistance to small businesses and nascent entrepreneurs in order to promote growth, expansion, innovation, increased productivity and management improvement.
The SBDCs, in partnership with SBA's Office of Small Business Development Centers (OSBDC) and SBA District Offices, develop programs and provide business management and other services that enhance the economic development goals and objectives of SBA and their other respective state and local funding partners. The SBDC program is a broad-based system of assistance for the small business community that links the resources of Federal, state, and local governments with those of the educational community and the private sector. Although SBA is responsible for the general management and oversight of the SBDC program, a partnership exists between SBA and the recipient organization to effectuate the delivery of assistance to the small business community.
SBA published the solicitation for current SBDC this week, identifying $110 million for investment for 63 awards. Eligible candidates are existing SBDC recipient organization currently funded under the SBDC) Program which is in good standing regarding accreditation. An application submitted by an entity that is not a current Lead SBDC will not be considered. The SBDC Program has 63 Recipient Organizations - one in each state (four in Texas and six in California), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Applications are due August 31.
Note: The solicitation requires the inclusion of "Planned milestones and outcomes" with the listing of SBDC goals for total Jobs Supported (JS), New Business Starts (NBSs), Clients Served (CS), and Capital Infusion (CI).
Solicitation passage: It is acknowledged that SBDCs receive funding from and must meet the mandates of its other funding sources. Despite these mandates, SBA District Directors and SBDC Lead Center Directors should identify services that meet local needs based on periodic needs assessments. SBDC Lead Center Directors should integrate the SBA strategic plan into the proposal, including:
- Maintaining international trade assistance to meet the requirements of the Small Business Act as amended by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 for the SBDC Program;
- Assisting manufacturing workers interested in starting their own business and working closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology's MEP Program to assist small manufacturers;
- Providing programs focused on existing businesses to assist them with growth and expansion.
- Developing, facilitating and/or leveraging appropriate distance learning programs and/or initiatives that can be utilized by small business clients and, where appropriate, other SBA resource partners;
- Using market research tools such as the SBDC Clearinghouse, also known as SBDC Net, to serve the needs of the small business community;
- Developing economic recovery programs and plans that include counseling small business owners on ways and means to strengthen business recovery and continuity;
- Economic development involvement; and
- Participating in and actively supporting community development in the SBDC's stated area of geographic coverage, including coordination with all levels of government - Federal, state and local in support of initiatives that strengthen the infrastructure of the community and ensure stability and equality in community-based economic growth and development. The private sector, including business and professional organizations, should be invited to become stakeholders with the SBDCs acting as catalysts to initiate development projects beneficial to the community as a whole.