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SBA Awards $200K to NYC-based Business Outreach Center Network; Federal Funds to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital

Brooklyn-headquartered Awardee Runs 6 Locations In or Adjacent to Opportunity Zones
Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Release Number: 
Contact: 
Matthew.Coleman@sba.gov Shannon.Giles@sba.gov

NEW YORK, NY The U.S. Small Business Administration is awarding the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, Inc., a Brooklyn-based 501(c)(3) and microenterprise and small business development organization, a grant of $200,000 as part of the agency's Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) program. Nationally, thirty awards were announced totaling $5.5 million. The Business Outreach Center Network operates 6 Business Outreach Centers throughout New York City. The group's central office is in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

BOC Network and the other twenty-nine awardees through the nation will utilize the grant dollars to help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital to establish and expand their small businesses.

This year, the SBA placed emphasis on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those that service entrepreneurs in Opportunity Zones and HUBZones, in addition to rural communities.

The Business Outreach Center Network, Inc. (BOCN), a 501(c)3 and microenterprise and small business development organization, is joining BOC Capital Corp., 501(c)(3) CDFI SBA Microloan Intermediary and Community Advantage Lender, to deliver the Microenterprise Collaborative Project. The shared mission of this collaboration is to improve the economic prospects of traditionally underserved groups, with a focus on low‐ and very low‐income microentrepreneurs and HUB Zones.

SBA New York has a long relationship with the Business Outreach Center Network. They do extraordinary work counseling and mentoring small business owners across the Five Boroughs, providing guidance and help to leverage the tools of entrepreneurship to improve the economic prospects of traditionally underserved groups in the city. Research shows that entrepreneurs who receive support and training like this stay in business longer, are more successful and possess the knowledge needed to enact a pivot plan, a necessary tool crucial to small business survival, said SBA New York District Director Beth Goldberg, the head of the nation's largest SBA District Office.

The SBA plays a vital role in supporting small businesses across every industry. Through resource partners like the Business Outreach Center Network, small business owners receive business training, one-on-one counseling and financing resources that help them achieve economic stability and growth. SBA's grant funding will go far to assist the BOC Network to provide access to capital for New York City's low- and very-low income microentrepreneurs, noted SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger who oversees the operations of the federal agency's Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic Regions.

President Trump signed legislation creating Opportunity Zones in 2017 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 have been designated as Opportunity Zones.

The PRIME grants made throughout the nation range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions. In total, over 120 organizations applied for PRIME grants for 2020.

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.

For more information on the SBA's PRIME grants and a list of this year's grantees, go online to www.sba.gov/content/prime-grantees