UGA SBDC to Bolster Georgia Business Community Thanks to a $6.2 Million Federal Grant

Kim Broun

Friday, December 1st, 2023

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) has been named a sub-recipient in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Grant. A $6.2 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury and administered through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA); this grant was created to expand business assistance for small businesses that have difficulty accessing traditional banking opportunities. 

This grant is part of a $10 billion federal program intended to support small business and expand access to capital through business loans. This latest grant will take those initiatives a step further, expanding the UGA SBDC’s individual business assistance to small businesses across the state through one-on-one business consulting, financing training programs and credit repair guidance in partnership with UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension.

With the awarded grant funds, the UGA SBDC will add additional business advisors, strategically placed at UGA SBDC offices across the state, whose focus will be on providing assistance for businesses facing banking challenges due to their size or lack of access to capital. These advisors will serve as the sole providers of technical assistance for the SSBCI program in Georgia, delivering training and individual assistance to businesses in the areas of legal considerations, accounting, marketing and obtaining capital. 

UGA SBDC business advisors will host regular sessions of the “Myths and Realities of Small Business Funding” training program. This program provides new business owners with basic information on the documentation and business performance information required by lending programs and institutions. Training topics include information on credit scores, business proformas, financial statements and operational considerations. After completing the course, business owners will be able to assess their businesses’ financial needs and take steps toward accessing capital to start or expand their business. These programs are offered in partnership with SSBCI-participating lenders so attendees can network and pose questions directly to loan providers in their local area.

UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences has a long history and thorough curriculum to assist individuals preparing to take on credit or those in the credit repair process. These programs will help individual business owners lay the fundamental groundwork needed as they prepare to apply for loans.

This grant program aligns well with the mission of the UGA SBDC. In the past five years, the UGA SBDC’s work with clients has resulted in the creation of 2,178 new small businesses, addition of 14,933 new jobs, access of $1.011 billion dollars of capital raised through loans and equity financing, as well as $9.5 billion in total sales.

“We are pleased to apply the UGA SBDC’s statewide infrastructure, market presence and reputation within Georgia to support the goals of the State Small Business Credit Initiative,” said Allan Adams, state director of the UGA SBDC. “We exist to support small businesses. Through this grant, we will be able to expand our services to provide targeted support to small business owners who have found it challenging to obtain capital.”