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Amata announces grant to assist minority-owned businesses

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata
Source: Uifa’atali Amata’a Washington D.C. office press release

Washington, D.C  — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is announcing the launch of the Capital Readiness grant competition by the US Department of Commerce. The CRP grant competition is funded by the US Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which is a program that aims to promote entrepreneurship, help businesses grow, and increase access to capital. The CRP grant competition is intended to help entrepreneurs who have applied or will apply to the SSBCI and other programs.

CRP will provide funding to private sector entities, institutions of higher learning, and non-profit organizations that ‘assist and train minority and other underserved entrepreneurs’ seeking assistance with starting or scaling their businesses. The program prioritizes entities that focus on breaking down barriers to minority owners of businesses, such as childcare services so entrepreneurs can focus on their businesses. This focus on potential barriers, according to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, will ‘ensure more people can launch and scale businesses.’

 “I am very hopeful about the Capital Readiness Grant program and its focus on minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Aumua Amata. “The CRP and the SSBCI are only two of the many different federal programs that aim to help entrepreneurs, including those in American Samoa. I hope that businesses, schools, and non-profits in American Samoa will take advantage of this opportunity to provide services such as childcare for entrepreneurs so that they can focus more on developing their businesses and our economy.”

 “I encourage those interested to reach out to my District Office in Fagatogo or to visit the US Commerce Department’s for more information on this great opportunity.”


Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is commending Senator Mike Lee’s amendment on Thursday to the Omnibus legislative package. This amendment, passed by voice vote and now part of the appropriations legislation, will officially excuse Lt. Ridge Alkonis’s absence from the Navy, ensuring that he and his family will receive his pay and service benefits.

“Thank you to Senator Mike Lee for his successful and determined efforts on behalf of Lt. Alkonis’s family,” said Aumua Amata. “It is important for the United States to care for our military families, and this Congressional action keeps our commitment to this family.”

 “I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy and Senators Schumer and McConnell who were aware of the amendment and made no objections to it,” she continued. “Lt. Alkonis serves voluntarily in our Armed Forces and is unavoidably absent because of a sad accident and an unknown illness. This was clearly the right thing to do, and now the U.S must continue diplomatic efforts to bring him home.”

Once the appropriations package is signed into law by President Biden in upcoming days, the Lieutenant’s pay and benefits will be assured.