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New Funding Opportunities For Black Businesses


By Dante Lee, 

entrepreneur and the best-selling author 

WASHINGTON -- In September 2010, President Obama approved the Small Business Jobs Act - a new law that has become a very significant piece of small business legislation. The law extends the successful SBA enhanced loan provisions while offering billions more in lending support, tax cuts, and other opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Now in 2011, those provisions have become to manifest themselves. Just recently, the U.S. Treasury Department approved more than $50 million to support lending to small businesses in the states of Connecticut, Missouri and Vermont. This might sound small, but that translates into $534 million in loans.

In an earlier round of funding this year, California, Michigan and North Carolina were approved for a total of $293.8 million. And guess what? As time goes on, the law provides that even more states will receive funding.

Being that African American business owners are disadvantaged in many ways, they should especially pay attention to what's happening and inquire locally at their banks and credit unions. A lot of this funding is being allocated to commercial loans, technology loans, and other loans for companies who have less than 500 employees.

Here are some other facts about the new law:

- The law eliminates the “Competitiveness Demonstration” program, which limited opportunities for small contractors in 11 industries where they excel, such as construction, landscaping and pest control.

- The law will provide $90 million in competitive grants over next three years for states to help small business owners with exporting (target rollout summer 2011).

- The law provides up to $50 million in grants to Small Business Development Centers across the country starting January 2011.




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