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DED and GROW Nebraska Announce Statewide Availability of the Nebraska Small Business Assistance Act Program, Invite Pre-Applications for Program Benefits

January 25, 2024 (LINCOLN, NEB.) – The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), in collaboration with GROW Nebraska Foundation, is pleased to announce the statewide availability of the Nebraska Small Business Assistance Act (NSBAA) Program. The purpose of the program is to support individuals looking to start a small business or seeking to expand a small business they opened within the past five years. Under the program, a small business is defined as a business with no more than five full-time equivalent employees based on hours worked (not including the business owner).

The NSBAA Program provides two benefits to qualified individuals:

  1. Funding to access professional services: These include services such as strategic planning, accounting and budgeting, tax return preparation, payroll processes, website development, or assistance setting up an LLC
  2. Grants for both new businesses and existing businesses: Grant funding can be used for eligible business purposes including, but not limited to: startup costs, working capital, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, or purchase/renovation of a place of business.
  1. Applicants for a new business grant could receive up to a $25,000 grant.
  2. Applicants for an existing business grant could receive up to a $12,500 grant.

The Nebraska Small Business Assistance Act Program was authorized by Legislative Bill (LB) 450 in 2022. DED has contracted with GROW Nebraska Foundation to administer the program. GROW Nebraska Foundation has strategic partnerships with Grow Nebraska, Grow Women’s Business Center, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, and Center for Rural Affairs to ensure the program has a statewide reach.

Following initial program development and a successful pilot phase, the NSBAA Program is now fully operational. DED and GROW Nebraska Foundation invite those seeking program benefits to review eligibility requirements through GROW Nebraska’s NSBAA website: https://grownebraska.org/nebraska-small-business-assistance-act/. Individuals may then submit a pre-application form to seek entry into the program.

Given strong interest in the program, priority will be given to individuals with developed business concepts that 1) clearly identify targeted customer markets and 2) forecast revenues for three years, providing detailed projections of sales in year one. Individuals who submitted program inquiries during 2023 are being reviewed and contacted by program administrators.

The Nebraska Legislature has authorized $4.2 million for NSBAA Program expenditures in the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Pre-applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted unless funding is renewed.

Additional information on the Nebraska Small Business Assistance Act Program is available on DED’s website: https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/programs/business/sbaa/. A one-page overview of the program is available here.

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Kyle Kinne

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