Drake State partners with Catalyst in $1.75 million grant program to support small businesses

December 04, 2019

Drake State has partnered with the Catalyst Center to provide business training and an Entrepreneurship Certificate program at no cost to eligible small disadvantaged businesses.

The Small Business Administration awarded the Catalyst a $350,000 one-year grant with four option years to administer the 7(j) M&TA Program ($1.75M if fully funded). The 7(j) Management & Technical Assistance (M&TA) Program grant provides for one-on-one customized coaching, business training and networking/matchmaking opportunities.

Other grant partners include: Neighborhood Concepts and Redstone Federal Credit Union, which will provide loans through the Business Assistance Microloan (BAM) Program; Live Oak Bank will provide support relative to mergers, acquisitions and growth through contract mobilization; Regions will provide facilities for workshops, business coaches and assistance in reaching low-to-moderate income individuals within their North Alabama footprint.  

Businesses must meet one of the criteria to be eligible to participate:

  • Small businesses that are owned and controlled by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals
  • Small businesses located in areas of high unemployment or low income;
  • Small businesses owned by low-income individuals;
  • Certified 8(a) participants or HUBZone small businesses
  • Economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses

To learn more about the program and to apply, business owners should contact the Catalyst Center at 256-428-8195.