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UTRGV receives $240,000 from SBA to help small businesses

By Jennifer L. Berghom

EDINBURG & BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPT. 11. 2015 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has received a $240,000 ScaleUp America award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, to help grow existing small businesses.

UTRGV can receive up to $1.2 million over the next five years from SBA, said Maria Juarez-Serna, assistant executive director of UTRGV’s Centers for Business Development.

“We are excited about the program, for the individuals who will take advantage of this program so that they can evaluate their businesses and continue their growth … and this program can help them do that,” she said.

The SBA created its ScaleUp America initiative to help small businesses on the verge of growth expand, hire more employees, and have a greater impact on the local and national economies, according to the ScaleUp America website.

UTRGV, through its Centers for Business Development, will use the money to provide training, counseling, financing and other support to small businesses looking to take their operation to the next level.

The program will be available to existing small businesses in Hidalgo County that have existed for at least two years and that have an annual revenue of $150,000 to $500,000, Juarez-Serna said.

The Centers for Business Development houses the Small Business Development Center, the Rio South Texas Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Veterans Business Outreach Center.

“This program enhances the overall services pf programs we have here,” Juarez-Serna said.

The program begins Sept. 29. Selected businesses should begin training sessions in January or February.

UTRGV is one of seven recipients of the SBA funding, and one of two in Texas. The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also received an award from the SBA. Other recipients include The Enterprise Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee; Startup Junkie Consulting, in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Supply Chain Vistas in North Central Pennsylvania and the Thurston Economic Development Council Business Resource Center in the state of Washington.


UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications
UTRGV Director of Public Relations