Payne, Menendez, Booker Announce Grants to Empower Low-Income Entrepreneurs

Sep 22, 2015 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Local Issues

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced that two New Jersey community organizations have won funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME). The Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation and the Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC) were granted $150,000 and $100,000,  respectively, as part of a total of $5 million in grants awarded to 39 community based organizations across the country that assist low-income entrepreneurs in gaining access to capital.

"Small businesses are truly the backbone of our economy, and entrepreneurship is still a primary pathway to economic prosperity," said Congressman Payne, Jr. "This funding will help ensure that low-income entrepreneurs have access to the capital needed to spur innovation, grow the economy, and create well-paying jobs for New Jerseyans."

“Small businesses are the biggest driver of job growth in the economy,” said Sen. Menendez.  “These grants will go a long way to helping spur economic development in Essex and Union Counties while creating good paying jobs for New Jerseyans.”

“New Jersey’s emerging small businesses are tremendous catalysts for innovation and job growth, but they can’t succeed without adequate access to capital,” said Sen. Booker. “This funding will enable two of our state’s community and economic development organizations to empower more low-income entrepreneurs to succeed and create jobs. I am committed to continuing to work with the Small Business Administration to bring more resources back to our state and into the hands of capable entrepreneurs.”

New Jersey is one of 16 states to benefit from this funding announcement. The 39 recipients are each receiving between $35,000 and $200,000 in funding through this award. Successful grants typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions. The recipients were chosen from an applicant pool of 104 organizations.

Funds become available on September 30, 2015 and the grant is for one year.

SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on applications for projects utilizing information technology and software to help small businesses start, strengthen and grow. 

PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. 

For more information on PRIME grants and a list of this year’s grantees, visit