Capstone Community Action Receiving $200K Grant

26 September 2019

A statewide grant to help low income Vermont entreprenuers achieve economic stability through micro-enterprise

Release Date: 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BARRE, Vt. -- Capstone Community Action is receiving a $200,000 grant from the Small Business Administration’s Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs across Vermont. PRIME assists low-income entrepreneurs who lack sufficient training and education to gain capital to establish and expand their small businesses.

The grant will fund the statewide Micro Business Development program run by Capstone and other organizations, including the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council, Northeast Kingdom Community Action and Southeastern Vermont Community Action.

The SBA placed special emphasis in this year’s competition on projects that will offer training and technical assistance to strengthen economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly those servicing entrepreneurs in rural areas and historically underutilized business zones. 

“Capstone and the Micro Business Development program have a great record of empowering low-income Vermonters who are interested in starting their own business. Aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to develop a business plan and become better prepared to take on the challenges that business ownership presents.  Capstone is deserving of this grant and I am looking forward to hearing about the inspiring success stories arising out of their efforts,” said Wendell Davis, SBA New England Regional Administrator. 

According to Capstone’s website, its mission is to provide comprehensive services to help people achieve economic well-being with dignity and develops partnerships to strengthen Vermont communities.  Capstone has a commitment to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty, to work with individuals and families to move out of poverty, and to advocate for economic justice for all Vermonters.

“At Capstone Community Action, and our sister-agencies across the state, our purpose is to empower economically disadvantaged individuals with the tools, resources and opportunities to rise out of poverty, states Sue Minter, Executive Director of Capstone Community Action. “The Micro Business Development Program is key to this effort. With one-in-four working Vermonters employed by a micro business, either as an employee or owner, Vermont’s economy, quite literally, is built one job, one small business at a time. Over the past three years this program has helped entrepreneurs launch 183 new businesses, creating 351 new jobs and accessing more than $4.3 million in capital from local financial institutions.” 

Capstone was one of 30 organizations across the United States to receive a PRIME grant. PRIME grants range from $75,000 to $250,000, and typically require at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind contributions. In total, over 130 organizations applied for PRIME grants in 2019.   

“The SBA is proud to help small businesses access capital while also ensuring they have access to the resources and training needed to create healthy, sustainable businesses,” SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton said. 

PRIME was created by Congress as part of the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999. Grant funds will be available Sept. 30. The project period for each grant is one year.

For more information about PRIME grants and a list of grant recipients, visit


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