The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was the Biden-Harris Administration’s response to the personal, medical, and economic hardships that millions of Americans faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ARPA is responsible for creating programs designed to help individuals and businesses overcome these hardships—one such program is the Community Navigator Pilot Program. We’ll be exploring what the program is and how it helps underserved and underrepresented small business owners—more importantly, we’ll be discussing why that matters.
About the Community Navigator Pilot Program
The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a community-oriented strengths-based approach to business support and development. This means that the program is designed to provide resources and information that connects small businesses in need with the resources and advocates necessary to help them overcome the hardships they’ve been encountering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports showed that underrepresented and underserved small businesses and business owners—minority business owners, veterans, and women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and more—were disproportionately impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic, and action needed to be taken to provide equitable access to recovery services.
The program consists of 51 federally designated “hub” organizations that have affiliations with additional “spoke” organizations that serve as boots-on-the ground resources and advocates for small businesses. The hub and spoke model intends “to leverage partnerships with deeply trusted community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into critical resources,” according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Services and resources available to small businesses through the Community Navigator Pilot Program include—financial assistance, contract procurement help, business development guidance, funding for industry specific training, and more.
Let Growth Capital Help
As with all the other SBA programs, Growth Capital is here to help you make sense of the materials available to you. We’d love to discuss the Cleveland Community Navigators Program and whether or not you and your small business qualify for the assistance it provides. Even if this program turns out to not be what you’re looking for, we’ll be there to help you figure out another route to take! Contact us today to start the conversation!