Community Navigator Pilot Program awards $100 million to support small businesses
As part of the American Rescue Plan, the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program will provide $100 million in grant funding to national, regional, state, and local organizations that support small businesses. The program is focused on providing support to socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses.
The program will provide funding to 51 ‘hub’ organizations, which will then work with over 400 community-based ‘spoke’ groups, to connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need to grow and thrive.
Whether you are thinking of starting a new business, trying to get back on track after the pandemic, or need additional support to take your business to the next level, these organizations have programs that can help.
Eight organizations were named as national, Tier 1 organizations, receiving up to $5 million each in grant funds. They are:
International Rescue Committee, which encourages new entrepreneurs and helps local businesses to grow through mentorship, financial management training, technical support and access to grants and loans.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which equips local businesses with the resources they need to grow, by providing direct financing and building out networks of assistance for small enterprises that may be overlooked by conventional financing channels.
National Urban League, whose Entrepreneurship Center Program enables minority entrepreneurs, who are running their businesses as sole proprietors, to thrive by growing revenue above $750k annually and creating jobs.
Oweesta Corporation, which helps establish strong, permanent institutions and programs contributing to economic independence and strengthening sovereignty for all Native communities.
Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which supports veterans and their families as they navigate their entrepreneurial journey.
U.S. Black Chambers Economic Development Corporation, which supports a network of African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises.
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which actively promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that combined, contribute over $800 billion to the American economy every year. It advocates on behalf of its network of more than 250 local chambers and business associations nationwide, and also partners with more than 260 major American corporations.
U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, which is the largest non-profit organization representing Pan Asian Americans and their related groups in business, sciences, the arts, sports, education, public and community services.
Regional and state organizations
These organizations provide support to small businesses in their areas, and are knowledgeable about the opportunities and challenges of the local entrepreneurial landscape. They each received up to $2.5 million in funds from the program. They are:
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
Community Development Finance Authority (New Hampshire)
Community Students Learning Center (Mississippi)
Delaware Small Business Development Center
Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida International University
Georgia Micro Enterprise Network
Idaho Hispanic Foundation
National Disability Institute
South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development
Vermont Small Business Development Center
Wyoming Small Business Development Center
The smallest organizations to receive grants through the program serve local cities and counties, or specific groups, with populations of less than 500,000. Each of these groups received up to $1 million in funding.
Abilene Chamber of Commerce (Abilene, TX)
Arctic Slope Community Foundation (Anchorage, AK)
BLDG Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Burten, Bell, Carr Development (Cleveland, OH)
Cape Verdean Association of Brockton (Brockton, MA)
Chatham Business Association (Chicago, IL)
Chinese American Chamber of Commerce (MN)
City of Flint (Flint, MI)
Community Development Corporation of Oregon (OR)
County of Fulton (Fulton County, GA)
Daughters of Zion All Women’s Bible College (Memphis, TN)
Forward Cities (various cities)
Foundation for Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)
Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation (Jefferson and Franklin Counties, MO)
Koreatown Youth and Community Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Lakewood Community Service Corporation (Lakewood, NJ)
Maui Economic Development Board (Kihei, HI)
Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Strategic Partnership Center (Mankato, MN)
New Bedford Economic Development Council (New Bedford, MA)
Nicolet Area Technical College(Rhinelander, WI)
Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (Fort Wayne, IN)
Pontiac Community Foundation (Pontiac, MI)
Rochester Economic Development Corporation (Rochester, NY)
Social Enterprise Greenhouse (Providence, RI)
Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (Altoona, PA)
Southern Colorado Economic Development District (Pueblo, CO)
Springfield Small Business Development Center (Springfield, OH)
Startup Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, SD)
Staunton Creative Community Fund (Staunton, VA)
The Dallas Entrepreneur Fund (Dallas, TX)
University of Arkansas Cossatot Department of Economic Development (DeQueen, AR)
West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (Terre Haute, IN)
To learn more about the programs and resources offered by these organizations, contact the organization directly.