WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced plans to expand the network of Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) through grant funding.
The SBA is inviting organizations, including educational institutions, private businesses, veteran nonprofit community organizations, as well as federal, state and local agencies to apply for grants which will cover the costs of establishing up to eight new VBOCs.
The focus areas for the new VBOCs include Alaska, Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, New England, and North/Central Texas. Eligible organizations may apply for grants to create local VBOCs in the above listed states by visiting http://www.grants.gov. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 29, 2016.
In accordance with Public Law 110-186, the organizations will provide information on small business ownership to service members and military spouses by facilitating SBA's "Boots to Business" introduction to entrepreneurship. The course is offered within the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
Additionally, these organizations will provide counseling, training, technical and financial skills development, comprehensive business assessments and mentoring to the veteran, active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and military spouse communities interested in starting or expanding small businesses.
Currently, 14 VBOCs exist as SBA partners. In 2015, VBOCs counseled more than 15,000 clients, provided training to 46,000 entrepreneurs and facilitated over 225 "Boots to Business" training courses. Within a year, the VBOCs supported the creation of more than 300 businesses and helped business owners receive up to $24 million in capital. The high demand for entrepreneurship training by the service member community made it necessary to establish more VBOCs, and hire additional counselors.
Each year, the SBA assists more than 200,000 veterans, reservists and service-disabled veterans to start and grow their small businesses. To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.
Release Number: 16-11
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration