SBA Announces Funding Opportunity for Small Business Development Centers; Includes "Support for Opportunity Zones" in Enumeration of All SBDC Responsibilities and Expectations; Establishes Requirement for OZ Strategic Plan and Semi-Annual and Annual Reporting
The Small Business Administration has announced the availability of $101,000,000 for investment in 50 SBDCs. Applications are due by September 3.
An eligible candidate is an existing SBDC recipient organization currently funded under the Small Business Development (SBDC) Program which is in good standing regarding accreditation. Applicants selected for awards under this Funding Opportunity are required to maximize their efforts to leverage SBA funding by working in conjunction with SBA District Offices and other Federal, state, local and tribal government small business development programs and activities; SBA resource partners such as SCORE, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs), 7(j) Technical Assistance providers, Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and SBA lenders; universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher education; and private organizations such as chambers of commerce and trade and industry groups and associations.
The solicitation describes the various responsibilities and obligations of the funded SBDCs.
The Opportunity Zone language from the solicitation is excerpted below:
BDCs, in conjunction with the SBA Regional Administrator and SBA District Office, will coordinate with their state, local and tribal economic development officials, chambers of commerce, lenders and other public and private entities to maximize business development in their respective Opportunity Zones.
Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to provide investment in economically distressed areas by creating tax incentives for individuals and companies that invest in these designated zones. To facilitate the designation of these zones, the Federal government empowered state, local and tribal governments to prioritize low-income, economically distressed areas that would benefit most from receiving an Opportunity Zone designation.
The census tracts chosen as Opportunity Zones by each state, local and tribal governing authority have now been submitted to the Federal government, giving the SBDCs and the SBA a powerful platform to provide capital, development assistance and counseling to entrepreneurs and small businesses interested in investing in and growing small businesses in Opportunity Zones.
Each SBDC is required to develop an annual strategic plan, in conjunction with their respective SBA Regional Administrator and District Office, to craft programs and outreach in their respective Opportunity Zones.
90 days after the start of Fiscal Year 2020, the SBDC will provide a copy of its strategic plan to their Program Manager in OSBDC.
Semi-annual Report: Each SBDC will provide OSBDC with an update on outreach and development efforts in their Opportunity Zones, to include success stories such as new business starts, capital infusion and other small business development efforts.
Annual Report: Each SBDC will provide OSBDC with a review of all outreach and development efforts that it undertook over the year to positively impact and grow small business in Opportunity Zones.