Existing and aspiring veteran small business owners will benefit from a new funding opportunity announced by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and aimed at awarding up to $400,000 to up to 12 entities to provide training and counseling as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).
Entities eligible to receive funding include private organizations, colleges and universities, private sector firms, nonprofit organizations, and state, local, or tribal governmental agencies.
Applications must be submitted via grants.gov by 11:50 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Applications submitted late or via other media, including SBA’s website, will be rejected. Information sessions on this VBOC funding opportunity will be hosted by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development via Microsoft Teams link or call-in number 202-765-1264 (access code: 265 542 768#). Sessions are scheduled for the following days and times:
Tuesday, October 25: 1-2 p.m. EDT
Monday, November 7: 4-5 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, November 16: 1-2 p.m. EST
The SBA announcement comes two weeks ahead of Nations Veterans Small Business Week, October 31-November 4, which spotlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s support of the entrepreneurial journey of U.S. service members, veterans, and their families.
“As the focus on serving underserved communities becomes increasingly important, OVBD (Office of Veterans Business Development) expects the demand for VBOCs will continue to grow,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for the SBA’s OVBD. “This expansion will grow the VBOC program from 22 to 34 locations nationwide and assist in supporting veteran small business owners in all U.S. states and territories.”
Grant funding allows awardees to provide transitioning service members and military spouses training through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship program m, part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. Comprehensive business assessments, counseling, financial skill development, mentoring services, and technical assistance will also be provided to transitioning service members, Reserve and National Guard members, and military spouses interested in growing or starting a small business.
Pennsylvania is one of 14 states or areas eligible to apply for a part of the $4.1 million this program is making available for Fiscal Year 2023.
“The additional locations aim to enhance the experience for veteran small business owners by reducing appointment wait times, increasing local presence, providing additional local training opportunities meeting the needs of Boots to Business participants, and ensuring that all VBOCs have the necessary resources to perform required counseling and training functions,” Stubblefield said.
The base project period for each award begins May 1, 2023, and extends for 12 months, with four 12-month option periods. For more information regarding this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov and search “SB-OVVB-23-001”. Questions concerning VBOC funding can be directed to Tangela Liddell at [email protected]. Those experiencing issues with Grants.gov can call the Grants.gov Support Line (1-800-518-4726) or email [email protected].