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Isabel Casillas Guzmán on her visit to Philadelphia, August 2022.
The Administrator of the SBA, Isabel Casillas Guzmán, during her visit to Philadelphia. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

SBA seeks to strengthen cybersecurity for small businesses

The Small Business Administration submitted the winning grants for this new pilot program.

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the award of nearly $3 million in funding for three state delegates who will work to advise emerging small businesses in developing a reliable cybersecurity infrastructure.

Isabel Casillas Guzmán, SBA Administrator stated:

Cybersecurity is increasingly critical for small businesses and startups as they face rising challenges and cyber risks that could disrupt their operations.

As part of the SBA Small Business Cybersecurity Pilot Program, the recipient representatives, businesses from Arkansas, Maryland and South Dakota, will use grant resources to help new and emerging business owners combat cyberattacks and other such threats.

“As we seek to build a stronger and more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, we must innovate and provide resources to meet the growing, evolving needs of our diverse small businesses. With this new funding opportunity, the SBA is leveraging the strengths across our state governments, territories, and tribal governments to provide services to help small businesses get cyber ready and, in the process, fortify our nation’s supply chains,” added Casillas Guzmán.

Winning Grants

The resources allocated from the federal budget for the Small Business Cybersecurity Pilot Program were granted by the SBA through three awards, none of which exceeded $1 million.

The award-winning states and institutions are:

  • Arkansas – Forge Institute – $999,650.66
  • Maryland – Department of Commerce – $930,155.00
  • South Dakota – Dakota State University – $999,933.00

The execution period of this award is one year (12 months).

What is This Program About?

According to a survey socialized by the SBA, “88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Yet many businesses can’t afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, or don’t know where to begin,” is pointed out.

“This pilot program catalyzes our efforts to help small businesses combat cybersecurity threats. These grants empower state governments to innovate, develop new resources, and scale solutions to protect more small businesses from harmful cyberattacks,” said Mark Madrid, SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development.

For its part, according to the FBI Internet Crime Report, cyberattacks are a latent threat to small businesses and the U.S. economy, a series of crimes that reached $2.4 billion in 2021.

“Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses,” highlights the SBA.

For more information on SBA programs and services related to cyber security, click here.

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