Local government organizations, non-profits and others who assist certain businesses with applying to a federal program to help them recover from COVID-19 have until July 23 to submit proposals to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The SBA will accept applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program for about a week and a half longer than the previous deadline, said SBA Regional Communications Director for New York state, Atlantic Region Matt Coleman.
Applicants have to submit their applications at grants.gov, using Funding Opportunity Number CNP-2021-01. Those eligible to apply must meet and show abilities to support requirements of this funding opportunity.
Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. The SBA anticipates making award decisions by September, which is also when performance periods begin. The pilot program, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, focuses on businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women and veterans.
“The program itself (Community Navigator) is not directly for small businesses. It’s for non-profits and municipalities to enhance their capabilities to assist small businesses with accessing federal programs and federal small business assistance. They could be the state of New York, local government resources partners or other organizations that provide targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities …” he said. “Chambers of Commerce can apply.”
The SBA said eligible applicants specifically include:
• An economic development organization or similar organization;
• Native American tribal organization (other than federally recognized tribal governments);
• Native American tribal government (federally recognized);
• county governments;
• state governments;
• city or township governments;
• SBA resource partners;
• Small Business Development centers (SBDCs);
• Women’s Business centers;
• Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE);
• Veterans Business Outreach centers (VBOCs);
• community development financial institutions; and
• non-profit colleges and Universities.
“I believe it is a benefit to anybody who is thinking of applying, to have an additional week and a half at least,” Coleman said. “It’s submitted to www.grants.gov and then it gets filtered to the SBA in Washington. Any businesses looking to obtain a federal grant can search that website, if they’re qualified for that federal grant.”
The Community Navigator Pilot Program provides smallest of businesses in rural or metro areas an extra tool to access federal programs in communities close to them, Coleman said.
For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, visit www.sba.gov/navigators.