(Concord, NH) Approximately 271 New Hampshire entrepreneurs and small business owners will be able to take advantage of technical assistance programs designed to get them off the ground, thanks to grants of nearly $750,000 for microenterprise centers. The NH Community Development Finance Authority has approved a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award helping seven economic development organizations that offer services, education, and programs for micro-businesses.
“Two out of every three net jobs are created by small businesses today,” said Kevin Flynn, Communications Director for CDFA. “If you’re a New Hampshire entrepreneur who’s focused on developing a new app, selling your crafts, or mixing up a killer barbeque sauce, you likely haven’t spent much time thinking about accounting, financing, or marketing. That’s where these microenterprise centers come in.”
The organizations work with low- and moderate-income people who either own or want to start their own company or service. Operations of fewer than five employees are considered “micro-businesses” and are the kinds of start-ups most in need of technical assistance for long-term success. The CDBG grants are made to Grafton and Cheshire Counties, which will oversee implementation of the awards to training programs across the state.
A grant in the amount of $370,000 will be made to Grafton County on behalf of these organizations:
- $97,500 to the Grafton County Economic Development Council in Plymouth. Some of the services GCEDC will provide to approximately 35 participants include lending advice, one-on-one counseling, and seminars geared toward small business development.
- $135,000 to the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network in Bethlehem. Technical assistance from WREN includes initiatives such as vendor readiness classes, business coaching, and computer tutorials to approximately 55 low-to-moderate income business owners.
- $52,000 to the Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council in Conway. MWVEC’s incubator office will help 17 entrepreneurs with their business boot camp, monthly workshops, and access to their revolving loan funds.
- $85,000 for the Northern Community Investment Corporation in Lancaster. Approximately 30 start-up businesses will be able to take advantage of NCIC’s financial management coaching, marketing seminars, and training in customer service, among other benefits.
A grant will be made to Cheshire County in the amount of $378,250 on behalf of these organizations:
- $147,750 to the Hannah Grimes Center in Keene. The center will provide access for 55 microenterprises to its industry cluster program, consultant’s round table, and leadership circles, as well as other services.
- $112,750 for the Regional Economic Development Center in Raymond. Activities funded include one-on-one meetings with business advisors, training in reading financial statements, and assistance with brand development and marketing. An estimated 41 low-to-moderate income small business owners will use their many resources.
- $117,750 to the NH Small Business Development Center’s Pathways to Work initiatives in Durham and Manchester. Some of the services they’ll provide to approximately 43 participants include classes on how to start a small business, e-courses on finance, and workshops on topics like marketing and accounting.
“The majority of people using these services will be of low- and moderate-income who aspire to greater financial stability and becoming job creators themselves,” said Flynn. “Such initiatives provided around the state are critical to New Hampshire’s growing economy.”
The grants await final approval from the Executive Council.
The CDBG program funds provide housing and create jobs primarily for low- and moderate-income people. Funds are provided to the state of New Hampshire by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and administered by CDFA. Each project is evaluated on several criteria, including impact on low- and moderate-income residents and the acquisition of matching funding.
CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. CDFA, created by the Legislature in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire. CDFA administers nearly $20 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, and clean energy funds. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit www.nhcdfa.org or call 603-226-2170.
CDFA will be conducting application writing workshops for the CDBG Microenterprise Program.