SBA Launches Community Navigator Pilot Program to Help Hard Hit Small Businesses

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In accordance with President Biden’s priority to deliver equitable relief to hard-hit small businesses, the SBA (Small Business Administration) recently announced that it is accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. Established by the American Rescue Plan, the program will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans.

Applications will be accepted through July 12, 2021 at grants.gov., with award decisions to follow by August 2021.  Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period.

Selected partners will engage in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities to help small businesses get the resources and support they need to get back on track as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Community Navigator Pilot Program is a crucial addition to our SBA programs because it helps us to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind. These businesses – the smallest of the small in rural and urban America, and those owned by women, people of color, or veterans – have suffered the greatest economic loss from this pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “If we’re going to build back better, we need to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the support they need to recover.”

The Community Navigator Pilot will provide counseling, networking, and the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery.

“The SBA understands the importance of partnering with organizations as well as smaller, local institutions that are already embedded in the fabric of the Main Street business communities they serve,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership Natalie Madeira Cofield. “Community Navigators are the backbone of aiding underserved and underrepresented communities across the nation with recovery.”

For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, please visit www.sba.gov/navigators.


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