NH Division of Economic Development
YouTube Facebook Twitter Twitter
Why New Hampshire Move Start Grow About Us

Posts Tagged ‘Small Business Administration’

Shaheen Announces Grant to Help Small Businesses Increase Exports

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today that New Hampshire will receive $299,493 to help more small businesses increase their exports by reaching new foreign markets. The funding comes from the Small Business Administration’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program, which was created by the Small Business Jobs Act, legislation Shaheen helped craft as a member of the Senate Small Business Committee. 
“Exports represent a tremendous potential for growth for small businesses in the United States, and we need to do more to help them reach foreign markets, so that they can grow and create jobs,” Shaheen said. “This grant is well-tailored to New Hampshire’s economy because it will help more businesses reach two fast-growing markets, China and India, while also encouraging more export growth in aerospace and defense.”

The STEP grant will enhance the state’s International Trade Resource Center (ITRC) efforts to help small businesses in New Hampshire prepare for new markets, comply with trade regulations, access export financing, and attend trade missions. With this grant, the ITRC will create specialized programs to focus on foreign markets that have the highest growth potential and industries that have the greatest and most immediate ability to compete successfully in the world marketplace. 
“We are thrilled that the New Hampshire business community will be able to benefit from this grant which is dedicated to helping local companies maximize their opportunities abroad,” said New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “At a time when demands for exports are at an all-time high for our small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, this grant will allow us to provide assistance in key areas of need. We commend Senator Shaheen, Governor Lynch and all of our partners including the New Hampshire offices of the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce for their commitment to helping New Hampshire businesses gain access to the international marketplace.”
“The SBA is thrilled to support the State of New Hampshire’s already successful export efforts,” said Jeanne A. Hulit, regional administrator of the SBA.  “The President has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years.  New Hampshire is already leading the country with the highest percentage growth in exports in 2010.  This grant will further help New Hampshire’s small businesses export their products and services, creating new jobs.  We commend Senator Shaheen for her support for including the STEP grants as a key part of the Jobs Act.”

The STEP program was designed to support the efforts of state and local export assistance programs. These programs help small businesses overcome obstacles that stand in the way of accessing foreign markets, such as a lack of expertise or resources. At a recent Small Business Committee field hearing on small business exporting, Shaheen heard from several small businesses that have relied on the expertise and assistance of the ITRC to grow their businesses through exporting. The program was originally conceived of in the Small Business Export Enhancement and International Trade Act of 2009 (S.2862), which Shaheen supported and which was later folded into the Small Business Jobs Act.

A member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, Shaheen has consistently worked to aid small companies in reaching foreign customers.   In August, she hosted a Small Business Committee field hearing in Manchester with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to examine ways to help small businesses export.  In January, Shaheen held a pair of roundtable discussions with New Hampshire small business owners on the federal resources available to help small businesses export with Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg.
In New Hampshire, exporting has become an increasingly important part of the state’s economy.  Last year, New Hampshire companies set a state record for international sales and ranked first among all states in export growth, increasing their exports by $1 billion.  In a difficult economic climate, this new revenue has provided a critical boost to many New Hampshire businesses.

Ask CJ – Opening a Restaurant: The Bitter and the Sweet

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

“I’m interested in opening up my own restaurant and I’ve heard that it is really tough to get financing to do so.  What might be available, if anything?”

Well, you’re quite right in that it’s often more challenging to secure financing for a restaurant.  The reason, as many people know, is due in part to the perception of a high failure rate for new restaurants.  I myself have heard countless times that 9 out of 10 restaurants fail within the first year of operation.  I was about to cite that “statistic” when I decided to do a little digging to see if it was still valid.  Boy am I glad I did!  A professor from Ohio State University’s hospitality program, H.G. Parsa, had trouble believing those statistics (and couldn’t find a source for the data) so he decided to research the failure rate himself. 

Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

Parsa used records from the health department to track 2,500 restaurants in the Columbus, Ohio area over a three year period.  He found that about one in four restaurants close or change ownership within the first year of business.  Over three years, that number rises to three in five (Bloomberg Businessweek, April 16, 2007).  The success rate for chain restaurants isn’t much higher.  New businesses in general face similar failure rates.  It is also worth noting that the failure rate was higher when located in an area with a high concentration of restaurants.

The good news is that you have a better chance at success than commonly perceived.  The not-so-good news is that securing financing for your restaurant is still going to be a challenge.  I spoke with Carol Estes from Optima Bank in Portsmouth to see what she recommends for an aspiring restaurateur.  Carol noted that like any business seeking funding, you will have a better chance of getting funded if you have good credit, collateral, a fall back position (cash in the bank) and 10-15 years of experience in the industry.  Previous successful restaurant ownership will also build your case for financing.

Carol pointed out the SBA’s 504 loan program that provides a fixed rate commercial loan for businesses acquiring property.  If you are planning on buying the building, this might be a good option for you.  The program offers a fixed rate for 20 years for real estate and a 10 year fixed rate for equipment. The customer can purchase the property with as little as 10% down with the bank taking 50% of the loan and the SBA covering the other 40%.  A start-up business would require 15% equity.  The banks like this program as they are able to mitigate their risk while still taking care of their customer’s needs.  Funds can be used to purchase land or purchase or construct a building as well as renovate an existing structure.

I also spoke with Fred Palazzolo of the Granite State Development Corporation, www.granitestatedev.com, in Portsmouth about the SBA’s 504 program.  The GSDC focuses solely on the SBA 504 program and Fred noted that the 20 year rate guarantee in conjunction with the low down payment can be a real help to business owners who are looking to preserve cash and have a predictable loan payment.  Fred also shared with me that a start-up is defined as a business with less than two years in existence.  Single purpose facilities would require an additional 5% equity.  Unlike some other SBA programs, the 504 is not an SBA guarantee on a bank loan but actually a loan that is separate from the bank.  To learn the specifics about this program, you can visit the SBA’s website, www.sba.gov, and click on “loan and grants” under the navigation bar. 

Securing financing for a restaurant is going to be as challenging if not more so than for other types of businesses.  However, if you have the experience, credit and the necessary collateral you have a much better chance of getting the financing you need.  My hat goes off to those who are willing and able to open and maintain a restaurant.  As much as I love to eat, I could never take on that endeavor based on family obligations alone.  Restaurant ownership demands an immense investment of time and energy in addition to the knowledge and funds that are required. 

Christine J. Davis works for the NH Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community. Ms. Davis lives in Exeter with her two daughters.  When not performing her work or parenting duties, she likes to spend time outdoors and discovering news places and activities in the community with her girls.  She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

Ask CJ: Hanging Out the “Help Wanted” Sign

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Q: I am a sole proprietor and my business has grown so much that I think I need to hire one or more employees.  How do I do that and are there any resources to assist me?

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine J. Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine J. Davis

A: Congratulations on growing your business!  Hiring your first employee is a big step and there are a few hoops you will need to jump through and important things to consider before you hang out the “help wanted” sign.

I did a bit of digging on the Internet and the good news is that there are a bunch of free resources available to educate you on what you need to know when hiring employees.  I visited a couple of sites that were full of information about hiring as well as other business issues.  The Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov, is a great tool for business owners looking for information.  They listed “10 Steps to Hiring Your First Employee”:

1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you don’t have one already.
2. Set up records for withholding taxes-you can have an accountant work with you on this if desired.
3. Employee Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)-this does not need to be filed with the federal govt. but does need to be kept on file.
4. Register with the State’s New Hire Reporting Program.
5. Obtain Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
6. Unemployment Insurance Tax Registration-some exclusions may apply.
7. Obtain Disability Insurance-NOT required in New Hampshire.
8. Post required notices (finally, something easy to do!)  Here is a link to the notices required by the federal and NH government:   www.labor.state.nh.us/wage_hour_mandatory_posters.asp?ptype=
9. File Your Taxes-Can be done monthly or quarterly.
10. Get organized and keep yourself informed.

help-wantedSo those are some of the “hoops” that need to be dealt with.  What about the other issues such as how do I advertise for the position, what questions do I ask during the interview, should I do a background check, do I need to offer benefits and can I hire an independent contractor instead of a regular employee?  These are some pretty important questions too and are not to be taken lightly.  I will touch upon these a bit, but you can get more in-depth information from the Small Business Development Center’s Web site, www.nhsbdc.org.  If you are not yet familiar with the SBDC or SCORE, you should spend some time on their Web sites and take advantage of their free business counseling and low cost seminars.

Before you put out an advertisement, you should have a job description ready that clearly describes the position including:  job objective, scope of position, duties, responsibilities and necessary qualifications.  Be prepared to receive a number of applications that don’t fit the description, however, as there are still a lot of people looking for work.  It is good to be a bit flexible but you want to be sure the candidate has the tools and education to fulfill their role.  There are a number of ways to find candidates from using a temp agency, to the State’s Employment Security office, to traditional newspapers and online.  The type of position will also be a factor in which avenue you choose.   The job description also determines if the position should be classified as hourly (non-exempt) or salary (exempt). Many employers are under the false assumption they can make this determination because it is more cost effective for example, to pay someone a salary rather than have to pay them overtime. Actually the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act outlines which positions are eligible to receive salary/exempt status as determined by the job duties the individual will perform. Employers can receive hefty fines for misclassification.

Though not legally required, consider offering some benefits for your employee(s).  Many small businesses are unable to afford health insurance but if you can offer it you will be able to attract more candidates.  Other things to consider are holidays, vacation and sick time as well as whether or not you are open to (and the job is conducive to) having your employee work from home.  Again, so much is industry specific so there isn’t a one size fits all answer to these questions.  Some businesses hire Professional Employer Organizations or professional Human Resource firms to handle these issues for them.  These groups can assist with the intricacies of HR and take responsibility off of your plate so you can focus on your business (Wouldn’t that be nice!).

Some businesses may be best served by hiring an independent contractor versus a traditional employee.   A business benefits by using an independent contractor with savings in labor, reduced liability and more flexibility in hiring and firing (source:  www.SBA.gov).  However, there are distinct differences between the two and a misclassification could be costly.  A few of the descriptive for an independent contractor are:

• Operates under a business name
• May have their own employees
• Invoices for work done and keeps records
• May have multiple clients

This is not an exhaustive list, so please do some research if you are contemplating going down this road and know that different government entities such as the IRS and the NH Department of Labor, have differing “tests” to determine whether the individual is eligible to be an independent contractor.   Another good site to visit to learn more about hiring issues and concerns is www.business.gov.  I have hired both employees and independent contractors in the past and always checked with a professional before offering employment.

There are lots of hoops to jump through and much to consider before you hire that first employee.  I also recommend that you spend a good deal of time talking with that person and making sure they are a good fit for your organization.  You can have a seemingly perfect fit on paper but a personality clash that just won’t work.  Don’t forget to check references and perhaps even conduct a background check.  That’s so important to the decision making process as well. 

If you do your due diligence, you are quite likely to bring on a person that will help you grow your business.  There aren’t any guarantees but I do believe that the better you educate and prepare yourself, the more likely you will be successful.

Special thanks to Delise West of Human Resource Partners in Dover, NH for her contributions to this article, www.h-rpartners.com

Whether you have been in business for 20 years or just getting started, we have the resources and the expertise to answer your questions. You can e-mail me at Christine.Davis@dred.state.nh.us. I look forward to hearing from you.

Small Businesses Are Key to New Hampshire’s Well-Being

Monday, March 14th, 2011

New Hampshire’s small businesses are key to the state’s well-being and account for a significant share of the state’s economic production and hiring, according to the Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profile for the state, released today. The profile uses the most recent data available to provide details about small business employment, business starts and closings, bank lending, business ownership by minorities, women, and veterans, and firm and employment change by major industry and firm size. 

entrepreneurship2“Small business is a catalyst for economic growth in New Hampshire and in our nation,” said Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “In today’s economic climate, we need to continue to support entrepreneurship and promote policies that help small businesses grow and prosper.”

Small businesses totaled 135,716 in New Hampshire in 2008. Of these, 31,146 were employers and they accounted for 54.0% of private sector jobs in the state. Small firms made up 96.3% of the state’s employers.

New Hampshire’s real gross state product increased by 1.8% and private-sector employment decreased by 4.4% in 2009. By comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 0.7% and private sector employment declined by 5.5%.

Business ownership is becoming more inclusive in the state. The number of both women and minority business owners has grown. In particular, minority-owned businesses numbered 4,855 in 2007, an increase of 42.8% over 2002.

The state’s businesses also showed signs of stability and improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter. 

For more information and a complete copy of the state and territory small business profiles, visit the Office of Advocacy website at www.sba.gov/advocacy/848.

Construction Bonding for Federal Contracts Workshop Planned

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program (NH-PTAP), a program of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, is offering an informative seminar, “Construction Bonding for Federal Contracts,” for contractors, builders and tradesmen who are or want to become government contractors on February 16th from 9 a.m.-noon at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development offices at 172 Pembroke Road. Pre-registration for the event is required as seating is limited.

CB040563According to NH-PTAP Program Manager Dave Pease, “The Miller Act of 1935 requires performance and payment bonds prior to any award made for federal construction projects over $150,000. Businesses that have never been through the bonding process can find this process daunting. That’s why we’re pleased to have Bill VerPlanck of The Rowley Agency and Rachael Roderick of the Small Business Administration (SBA) present this training. They’ll take attendees through what contractors, subcontractors, builders and tradesmen need to do in order to be in compliance with the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) Part 28, which outlines detailed requirements regarding bonds and insurance.”

The Miller Act was put in place to protect the interests of the federal government, taxpayers, suppliers and subcontractors. Bonding ensures that the construction contractors are qualified to perform their contractual obligation to the federal government, that taxpayer dollars are protected through third-party guarantees of contract performance and payment, and that suppliers and subcontractors have a payment remedy should the prime contractor become insolvent or fails to pay them.

VerPlanck, who will lead the training, will explain the differences between various bonds, why they exist and who uses them and how to get bonded; while Roderick will explain the SBA Express and Contract Line of Credit programs that can assist small businesses.

Bill VerPlanck joined The Rowley Agency in 1985 after serving seven years as the Hartford Insurance Company regional bond manager for northern New England. A graduate of Cornell University, he earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) designation in 1992 from the American Institute for Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriters. He is an active member of a number of industry associations including the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, New England Surety Association, Associated General Contractors of NH (past board member), NH Good Roads and Associated Builders & Contractors.

Rachael Roderick has worked for the SBA for 23 years.  As a Business Development Specialist, her responsibilities include administering the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program and marketing and outreach of the SBA’s programs including government contracting programs, loan programs, and business development assistance through resource partners.

All registrants for the free training must be NH-PTAP clients. For more information about this event and the free services that NH-PTAP provides or to sign-up as a NH-PTAP client, visit http//:nhptap.ecenterdirect.com.

For questions, contact Amanda Duquette at 603-271-7581 or email amanda.duquette@dred.state.nh.us. Please note that the conference room does not have wireless Internet connection for personal laptops.

International Finance Tools Seminar Scheduled

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Businesses interested in gaining an understanding of the many different programs available to support import and export needs are invited to take part in an “International Finance Tools” seminar being presented at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development on January 20th from 9 a.m.-noon.

international-currencyPresented by the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center (NHITRC), this seminar is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses that want to understand different payment methods for their sales as well as the risks and benefits associated with each method. An array of finance programs from the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Export-Import Bank will be presented. Amongst the topics to be covered are obtaining export working capital loans, securing payments from overseas, financing activities that allow your business to expand its global presence and effective payment options to offer your international clients.

Registration is priced at $40 per person. For details, please visit www.exportnh.org/calendar/registration.aspx. For questions, contact Ellie White at (603) 271-8444 or ellie.white@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org

WIW and Dale Carnegie-NH Stand Up for Women’s Business Leadership

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

It’s always nice to see two awesomely creative people get together and form a partnership, especially one that helps build a stronger business community. With that, I give you the following press release from fellow NHBR blogger Deb Titus and NH Conference for Women guiding light Leslie Sturgeon:


Women Inspiring Women and Dale Carnegie-NH announce their partnership and commitment to women’s leadership development in New Hampshire. Their initial 5-session program, Stand Up, Stand Out: Communicate and Influence for Business Women, launches on Monday, November 8, 2010 from 4:00 to 7:30 at the Highlander Inn in Manchester, NH.   

Deb Titus

Deb Titus

Participants will be led by expert Dale Carnegie coach, Deb Titus, and will enhance their ability to assert themselves without appearing aggressive; increase their visibility; strengthen ability to maintain control rather than having circumstances being in charge, heighten leadership, interpersonal effectiveness and project confidence.  This intensive, interactive program includes five live sessions concluding in early January, 2 webinar coaching sessions, reinforcement emails, books and resource materials.  

Women Inspiring Women was founded in 2007 by Leslie Sturgeon and has become New Hampshire’s largest organization for women’s empowerment, personal development and networking. They host bi-weekly events in the Lakes Region, Concord, Nashua, Manchester and Portsmouth. Dale Carnegie Training is represented in all 50 of the United States and over 75 countries. Deb Titus is President of Human Capital Solutions, LLC, authorized Dale Carnegie Director in NH.  

Leslie Sturgeon

Leslie Sturgeon

Both Titus and Sturgeon are award-winning professionals, having been recognized by the NH Business Review as their 2010 Outstanding Women in Business. Deb Titus was awarded the Best of Business Award in the category of career coach for the NH Business Review in 2010 and Leslie Sturgeon was named the 2009 Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion for NH.  According to Sturgeon, “Deb Titus and Dale Carnegie are renowned in business and leadership training in NH, we are honored to partner with them to carry out our mission of women’s personal and professional development.”  

For more information on the Stand Up, Stand Out series visit www.wiwnh.com – or call (603) 744-0400.

SBDC Launches New Online Finance Site for Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, an outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, has launched a new online course for entrepreneurs seeking guidance on how to finance a New Hampshire business. The course is the latest addition to the center’s broad offering of free online resources available to entrepreneurs.

sbdcDeveloped by the NH SBDC as the primary resource on financing a business in the state, the 90-minute course, “Financing a Business in NH,” contains a myriad of financing resources and tools for New Hampshire business owners and helps entrepreneurs navigate the maze of funding options available in the state.  

“The Small Business Development Center does an excellent job in assisting our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. This new online course is another way the Center is working to provide the assistance businesses and entrepreneurs need to be successful here in New Hampshire,” Gov. John Lynch said. 

The NH SBDC announced the launch of the course earlier this week at a meeting of the governor and Executive Council at the New Hampshire State House. The course is sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of New Hampshire, Inc., and is part of the center’s e-Learning program, which is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire. 

“The growth and development of successful small businesses in NH will have a significant impact on job creation and the health of our economy,” states Peter Winship, Executive Director, Community Bankers Association of NH. “Through support of this new SBDC e-course New Hampshire’s community banks can actively provide direct financial resources and information 24/7 to New Hampshire’s business community.”   

 “’Financing a Business in NH’” is the most recent addition to the SBDC’s robust e-Learning program,” states SBDC director Mary Collins, “and we are thrilled to have the support and backing of our longtime partners,  the Community Bankers Association of NH.”  Launched in 2008, the e-Learning program provides entrepreneurs more than 23 courses in several areas of business, including management, finance and marketing, at no cost. New and experienced business owners may take a course in one sitting, or over time, depending on their schedules.  According to Collins, “More than 2,000 online courses have been completed by business owners and entrepreneurs in 203 NH communities since the program started.” To view “Financing a Business in NH,” visit the center’s e-Learning portal at http://www.nhsbdc.org/e-Learning-entrepreneurs.
The NH Small Business Development Center provides confidential business management consulting and educational programs to New Hampshire’s small businesses. The NH SBDC is the only NH agency that has full-time certified business advisors providing one-on-one, long-term, management consulting to small businesses. NH SBDC is a cooperative venture with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New Hampshire (DRED), the University System of New Hampshire, and the private sector. For more info on NH SBDC, visit www.nhsbdc.org.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

International Tools That You Can Use

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

With New Hampshire exporting products to over 160 countries, there’s no better time to learn about the latest tools to finance export growth. Bearing that in mind, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center has scheduled an “International Finance Tools Seminar” at its new Concord facility (172 Pembroke Road) on Thursday, August 6th from 9 a.m.-noon.

nhitrcParticipants will learn about obtaining export working capital loans, securing overseas payments, financing activities that fuel global expansion and effective payment options to offer international clients. They will also gain valuable insight into government programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Trade Development Agency (TDA) and multi-lateral development banks that are beneficial to exporters.

Guest speakers will include Helen Lesieur, Vice President, Global Trade Services at RBS Citizens, J. Joseph Grandmaison, Member, Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States and John Joyce, Regional Manager, International Trade Programs, Small Business Administration.

The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org.

Great Opportunity for Entrepreneurs – Training & Technical Assistance Funding

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Thanks to our good friend Wit Jones and our great colleagues over at the Small Business Administration, I’m happy to pass on information about the following opportunity for entrepreneurs:

Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs  (PRIME)

Many low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs need training and technical assistance to start, operate, or expand their businesses. PRIME will aid in researching and developing best practices in the field of microenterprise and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged microentrepreneurs. A minimum of 50 percent of the funds available for grants under the PRIME Act must be used to benefit very low-income persons, including those residing in Indian reservations.

sba-logoEstimated total program funding is five-million dollars ($5,000,000). Award amounts may vary, depending upon availability of funds (and performance for option years); however, no single grantee may receive more than $250,000 or ten (10) percent of the total funds made available for this program in a single fiscal year, whichever is less. In general, match is required, although SBA may reduce or eliminate match in certain circumstances (up to a program limit of 10 percent).

The period of performance for this grant is one base year with four (4) twelve-month options subject to availability of funds. The total possible period of performance is five (5) years. Each option year will constitute a separate budget period.

PRIME is now open to microentrepreneur training and technical assistance providers in all 50 states and territories. Due to the competitive process, SBA will be unable to assist with answers to specific questions regarding individual proposals or requests for assistance in completing proposals. Questions concerning budget, cost elements or funding of this grant should be directed to Jan Blackwell-Robinson at (202) 205-7134 or via e-mail at prime@sba.gov.

For more information on the formal PRIME program announcement and the required forms, visit the following URL: 


Note:  the application deadline has been extended to 11:59:59 EST on July 24, 2009.