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Small Business Assistance Act (SBAA)

LB450 creates the Small Business Assistance Act (SBAA), which states the Department of Economic Development shall contract with a private entity to provide grants and professional business services to individuals looking to start a small business or have started a small business within the previous five years.

Program Objectives

Professional Business Services
The contracted provider(s) shall establish and maintain statewide reach for provision of services to qualified individuals and small businesses including, but not limited to:

  • Accounting and budgeting
  • Tax return preparation
  • Human resources
  • Writing a business plan
  • Payroll processes
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Debt management
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology coaching
  • Financial statement review

    Business Grants
    The SBAA also provides grants up to $25,000 to qualified individuals looking to start a small business, and up to $12,500 to qualified small businesses less than five years old.

    Grants will be issued and administered through the contracted provider(s).

    Eligibility Information

    LB 450 defines small business, for purpose of SBAA, as a business with five or fewer employees. DED interprets this as no more than five full-time equivalent employees based on hours worked, not including owner.

    Grants can be used for eligible business purposes including, but not limited to: startup costs, working capital, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, or purchase/renovation of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes.

    Start-ups
    An individual shall be eligible for a start-up grant up to $25,000 if the following requirements are met:

    • Individual earned no more than $55,000 in previous calendar year
    • Personal net worth of no more than $200,000 – excluding primary residence
    • Individual does not have an ownership interest in any other business

     

    Existing Small Businesses
    An individual who owns a small business in existence for no more than five years shall be eligible for a grant up to $12,500 if the following requirements are met:

    • Gross revenue grew no more than 25% over most recently completed calendar year
    • Individual personal net worth no more than $200,000 – excluding primary residence
    • Individual does not have ownership interest in any other business

     

    Application Information

    Provisions of this act are contracted to GROW Nebraska Foundation.

    GROW Nebraska Foundation has strategic partnerships with Grow Nebraska, Grow Women’s Business Center, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, and Center for Rural Affairs to maintain a statewide reach for the program.

     On March 1, 2024 the official NSBAA application form for the program becomes publicly available.

     Please note, there is significant interest in this program and applications to the program are reviewed and processed in the order they were received. Please anticipate a delayed response as the applications are being reviewed. This pilot program has considerably more demand than funding, meaning many otherwise eligible applicants will not receive program benefits. Applications will be triaged based on the following criteria:

    • Nebraska resident
    • Submitted application with all application materials present
    • “Shovel-ready” – (1) working with a resource provider, (2) have a business plan, and (3) complete application information
    • Underserved geography – preference will be given to ensure program benefits are distributed proportionally across the state

    The initial review of applications will result in either assignment to a program representative at one of the partnered organizations to complete program processes, hold for future consideration, or declined.

     Previously submitted preapplications will continue to be reviewed and contacted by GROW Nebraska. If you have not been contacted by Grow Nebraska regarding a submitted preapplication, please email: Cheryl@GrowNebraska.org

     Moving forward, program applicants will only complete an application in the new portal.

    Please visit the GROW Nebraska’s NSBAA webpage for more information and to access the application portal.

    Small Business Assistance Act (SBAA)

    For further information about SBAA please contact the contracted provider:

    Primary staff contact information:

    Brad Kulwicki

    Small Business Assistance Consultant