Reborn WBC eyed for N.H.
Count it as down, but not out.Formation of a new Women’s Business Center is being proposed through a matching grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership."We are actively looking to have a new Women’s Business Center started," said Witmer Jones, the SBA's New Hampshire district director. He said that, with a new grant proposal available, time is of the essence."It’s on a fast track," he said, with the application submission deadline set for Friday, Aug. 27. The initial start-up grant would begin funding almost immediately, starting Oct. 1.According to the grant proposal, "The SBA expects to make one award under this Program Announcement for a new WBC in the state of New Hampshire. The federal award for this grant will be $119,879, subject to available funding."The proposal says the recipient organization would be required to match 50 percent of the awarded funds for the first two years of the grant and a 100 percent ratio for the following three years.The matching funds can be cash, in-kind and program income.Only private nonprofit organizations that have been providing technical services to women entrepreneurs and meet the program criteria are eligible to apply for the grant, according to the grant regulations.And while the much-lauded team members of the current WBC – due to close its doors Aug. 31 – could possibly take part in a new iteration, that exact same entity could not, in essence, reapply for this initial grant. Any organization that has had a WBC award terminated or non-renewed by SBA is ineligible to apply, according to the program proposal."The corporate structure would be brand new," said Jones.While Jones said he has received several informal calls from parties interested in the opportunity, he said he is unaware of how many applications have been sent in.For eligibility requirements, proposal submission instructions and further information, visit grants.gov, and under the basic search page, enter "OWBO-2010-01-2" in the "Search by Funding Opportunity Number" field. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW