SBA announces community navigator pilot program
(SBA photo)

SBA announces community navigator pilot program

Applications are open through July 23 for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s new Community Navigator Program. The program, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will use a community navigator approach to help small businesses, with a focus on those owned by veterans, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

According to the SBA, the Community Navigator Program will feature a lead “hub” at the center of a network of “spoke” organizations that deploy community advocates to work with small businesses during economic recovery. Recovery services can include financial assistance, access to capital supports, contracting and procurement assistance, marketing, operations, and business development, export and importing, and industry specific training, among other areas of technical assistance to aid businesses in stabilization and expansion.

Among those eligible to apply for a Community Navigator Program grant are Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs); 501(c) nonprofits’ economic development organizations; and city, county and state governments. For more details on who is eligible to apply and how to apply, click here.

Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Applicants have until July 23, 2021, to submit their applications at Performance periods are projected to commence in September 2021. Those eligible to apply must meet and demonstrate abilities to support requirements of this funding opportunity.

For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, please visit