VtSBDC has been chosen as one of 51 grantees nationwide to be part of the Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program.  According to the SBA, the Community Navigator Pilot Program is designed to “reduce barriers that all small businesses — including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women and those from rural communities —often face in accessing critical support.”

The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a “hub and spoke” model, with VtSBDC as the hub, and nine partner organizations as spokes.

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The “spoke” partner organizations are:

The well-balanced network of partner organizations recruited by VtSBDC will help address the identified gap areas of: financial, digital and legal literacy while increasing cultural knowledge, awareness and greater sensitivity through diversity, equity and inclusivity efforts across the technical assistance provider network of Vermont.  In addition to spokes, VtSBDC has many partners that will be included in the broader communications and serve as host locations for Community Navigator activities.  

“The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized building our small business ecosystems back better so that all of our entrepreneurs have a fair shot at achieving the American dream of business ownership,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We need to meet businesses where they are with resources to start, grow and be resilient, and the Community Navigator Pilot Program will power a trusted network of community partners to connect America’s entrepreneurs with the SBA. The program’s Community Navigators will develop strong relationships with deeply trusted community-based organizations that will tap into one-on-one, targeted support from programs designed to help them create jobs and drive innovation.”

Vermont press release about the Community Navigator Grant: https://www.vtsbdc.org/vtsbdc-selected-as-hub-grantee-in-sbas-community-navigator-program-with-nine-partners-identified-as-spokes/

For the SBA press release about the Community Navigator Grant: 

https://www.sba.gov/article/2021/oct/28/sba-administrator-guzman-biden-harris-administration-announce-community-navigator-pilot-program

Funding [in part] through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration