The U.S. Small Business Administration extended the application period for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program, which will give out $100 million in grants, through July 23.
This initiative, part of the American Rescue Plan, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach small businesses with a priority on businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women and veterans.
The extension was announced July 1.
“As SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman reinforces, we have to meet small businesses where they are. This program is designed to empower a hyperlocal approach through a national network of community navigators who are on the ground truly connecting, empathizing, and tailoring solutions for our small businesses during critical recovery,” said SBA Associate Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid in a prepared statement. “This bold effort underscores our agency’s commitment to advance equity and bolster an ecosystem in which small businesses continue to apply for the diverse suite of SBA resources, services, and/or programs throughout various stages of business recovery, growth, scale, and/or maturity.”
Through the Community Navigator Program, the SBA will work with community organizations that will aid small businesses around the country during recovery. The program leverages the business development expertise of the central hub organization (the SBA) and the community credibility of local “spoke” organizations to better connect small businesses with critical resources.
“Inclusion and access continue to be among the most important priorities for aiding small business through recovery. Our underrepresented, women and Native American businesses need our support now to grow and strengthen our economy. Community Navigators is about connecting and rebuilding community to ensure more American small businesses survive and thrive,” said SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership Natalie Madeira Cofield in a prepared statement.
Grant awards range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 23 to submit their applications at grants.gov, Funding Opportunity Number CNP-2021-01.
The SBA anticipates making award decisions by September.
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