Community Navigators


Outreach to businesses in underserved communities

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that the nation’s small businesses receive the support they need to access federal relief programs that can help them weather the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This technical assistance is critical, as small businesses have been hit hard over the course of the last year, impacting at least 400,000 businesses. Previous rounds of economic relief last year helped millions of small businesses stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll, yet too many minority-owned businesses and mom and pops found themselves at the end of the line, while larger, well-connected businesses accessed programs right away. To better reach these small businesses, SBA is launching the Community Navigator Pilot Program that will strengthen outreach to underserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities.

What are Community Navigators?

The Community Navigator Pilot Program is an American Rescue Plan initiative designed to reduce barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often face in accessing the programs they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses. The program will provide a total of $100 million in funding to 51 organizations that will work with hundreds of local community groups to improve access to SBA and government resources for America’s entrepreneurs. 

The selected projects will cover diverse communities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Grantees will serve as “hubs” -- centralized, lead organizations, which will incorporate “spokes,” organizations that have built trust in their local communities and will be the ‘boots on the ground’ that will connect small businesses to critical resources and assistance, including:

  • financial assistance and access to capital
  • contracting and procurement
  • marketing, operations, business development, and exporting
  • industry-specific training

See the Community Navigator Pilot Program grantee announcement and FAQs about the Community Navigator Pilot Program.

Community Navigator Pilot Program grantees

These 51 Hub organizations supported 450 Spokes which provided assistance in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

State City Hub Name
AK Anchorage Arctic Slope Community Foundation
AR De Queen University of Arkansas Cossatot Department of Economic Development
AR Little Rock Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
CA Los Angeles Koreatown Youth and Community Center
CO Longmont Oweesta Corporation
CO Pueblo Southern Colorado Economic Development District
DC Washington DC National Disability Institute
DC Washington DC U.S. Black Chambers Economic Development Corporation
DC Washington DC U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
DC Washington DC U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation
DE Newark Delaware Small Business Development Center
FL Miami Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida International University (FIU)
GA Atlanta County of Fulton
GA Atlanta Georgia Micro Enterprise Network
HI Maui Maui Economic Development Board
ID Nampa Idaho Hispanic Foundation
IL Chicago Chatham Business Association
IN Fort Wayne Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
IN Terre Haute West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center
MA Brockton Cape Verdean Association of Brockton
MA New Bedford New Bedford Economic Development Council
MI Flint City of Flint
MI Pontiac Pontiac Community Foundation
MN Mankato Minnesota State University, Mankato's Strategic Partnership Center
MN Minneapolis Chinese American Chamber of Commerce
MO Hillsboro Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation
MS Lexington Community Students Learning Center
NC Durham Forward Cities
NH Concord Community Development Finance Authority
NJ Lakewood Lakewood Community Service Corporation
NY New York International Rescue Committee
NY New York Local Initiatives Support Corporation
NY New York National Urban League
NY Rochester Rochester Economic Development Corporation
NY Syracuse Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families
OH Cleveland Burten, Bell, Carr Development
OH Springfield Springfield Small Business Development Center
OR Gresham Community Development Corporation of Oregon
PA Altoona Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission
PR San Juan Foundation for Puerto Rico
RI Providence Social Enterprise Greenhouse
SC North Charleston South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development
SD Sioux Falls Startup Sioux Falls
TN Memphis BLDG Memphis
TN Memphis Daughters of Zion All Women's Bible College
TX Abilene Abilene Chamber of Commerce
TX Dallas The Dallas Entrepreneur Center
VA Staunton Shenandoah Community Capital Fund
VT Randolph Center Vermont Small Business Development Center
WI Pelican Nicolet Area Technical College
WY Laramie Wyoming Small Business Development Center 
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Last updated May 31, 2024