The U.S. Small Business Administration will provide $3 million in new funding for state governments to help emerging businesses across the country develop their cybersecurity infrastructure, the agency announced Jan. 21.
Through the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, state governments can compete for grants that will help deliver cybersecurity assistance to nascent and start-up business owners.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have adopted technology at high rates to survive, operate, and grow their businesses. As a result, cybersecurity has become increasingly important as now, more than ever before, small business owners face cyber risks and challenges that could disrupt their operations and competitive advantages,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “As we seek to build a stronger and more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, we must innovate and provide resources to meet the evolving needs of the growing number of small businesses.”
Mark Madrid, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, added, “The bottom line is we must do more to help small businesses combat cybersecurity threats, which continue to increase, evolve and inhibit.”
Madrid said the pilot program “will empower state governments to expand existing services, innovate, adapt to current environments, develop new resources and scale solutions to assist more small businesses. Additionally, expanding access to underserved and underrepresented small business ecosystems will be a critical marker of success.”
State governments that seek to provide training, counseling, remediation and other tailored cybersecurity services for small companies in multiple industries can apply between Jan. 26 and March 3. Grantees will be awarded up to $1 million.