sba

SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Opens January 8

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the 2024 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) on January 8. The competition offers $50,000 to $200,000 in prize awards “for impactful and inclusive approaches to foster a thriving, collaborative national innovation support ecosystem to advance research and development (R&D) from ideas to impact.” The competition is not intended to provide capital directly to companies for R&D projects. The prizes will be awarded in two stages.

SBA makes four awards through its Regional Innovation Cluster program

SBA has recently announced four contract awards to small businesses and entrepreneur support organization (ESO) partners, expanding the SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) to 16 hubs nationwide. Two contract awardees are new to the program in 2023, while two others are returning awardees, positioned with new contracts to continue and expand work in their respective regions.

SBA establishes the Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee

SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation recently established the Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee (IIEAC) to serve as an independent source of information, advice, and recommendations to the Administrator on matters broadly related to the U.S. startup and small business innovation ecosystem. 

SBA announces awards to support STEM, R&D-focused businesses, and partnerships across national priority areas

SBA recently announced its 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage Two prize winners. The 35 award-winning accelerator partnerships will receive $150,000 each in unrestricted funds.

SBA establishes an Investment Capital Advisory Committee

SBA's Office of Investment and Innovation has launched an Investment Capital Advisory Committee (ICAC) to serve as an independent source of advice and recommendations to SBA on institutional investment market trends, innovation, and policy impacting small businesses’ ability to access patient investment capital.

Treasury awards $125M to 43 organizations, distributes $57M in first SSBCI TA grants

U.S. Department of the Treasury recently awarded $125 million to 43 nonprofits and community-based organizations, including SSTI member University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The money came via the American Rescue Plan Act- (ARPA-) funded (CRP) Capital Readiness Program. The CRP enables small businesses to access technical assistance through organizations that provide services to underserved businesses.

New SBIC rules facilitate early-stage investment

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is implementing a final rule, effective Aug. 17, that adds a category of Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) that will make the program a better-fit for early-stage investment strategies. The most significant change in this direction is the creation of an accrual funding mechanism that enables licensed SBICs to receive a loan from SBA that is repaid only upon distribution events or at the end of a 10-year term. Additional changes include allowing fund investment strategies through a reinvestor SBIC license, modifying license fees, clarifying elements of nonprofit participation, and attempting to reduce program paperwork.

SSTI among 40 SBA Growth Accelerator awardees

This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced 40 new Growth Accelerator Fund Competition awardees. SSTI’s proposal to identify programs and partners that have expanded the participation of minority business owners and researchers in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is among the winners.

SBA rules changes mean more opportunities, TBED orgs should take second look at SBA lending programs

The U.S. Small Business Administration finalized new rules that provide more opportunities to leverage the agency’s flagship lending programs to support economic development strategies. The most significant changes in the rules would allow more non-depository lenders (e.g., loan funds) to participate in SBA’s lending programs, make employee ownership transitions an eligible use of loan proceeds, and remove many of the existing underwriting criteria. These changes mean tech-based economic development organizations should consider becoming approved SBA lenders.

SBA adds disclosure of foreign influence to SBIR policy directive

Last year's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) reauthorization included a new requirement that participating agencies work to identify foreign connections of applying companies. Certain types of connections to “countries of concern,” which include China and Russia, could result in the small business being prohibited from receiving federal funds. The U.S. Small Business Administration has now published a template for disclosure of foreign relationships that will be part of the latest SBIR policy directive and that all agencies will be expected to use. The template is available for public comment through May 3 in the Federal Register.

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