Qualifying nonprofits and economic development organizations in Delaware still have time to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration Community Navigator Pilot Program. The new initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will leverage local leaders for outreach to approach to reach the smallest businesses in the U.S. as they recover, with a priority focus on businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, veterans and women. Organizations are required to pitch a project proposal that focuses on supporting underresourced small businesses in the community.
The deadline, which was originally July 12, has been extended through July 23.
“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 Mark Madrid, SBA Associate Administrator for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development, in a 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.”
Community advocates will work with small businesses during recovery through the program, connecting critical resources with small businesses that need them.
“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 Natalie Madeira Cofield, SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership.
Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. Apply via grants.gov (Funding Opportunity Number CNP-2021-01). Recipient organizations are expected to begin their projects in September.