Community Project Grant
COMMUNITY NAVIGATOR PILOT PROGRAM (CNPP)
Utilizing a “hub and spoke” model from public health care federal programming, the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program will help level the playing field for Brockton area small businesses, especially our underserved women, people of color, veterans, and low-income communities. The Cape Verdean Association “hubs” will serve as centralized, lead organizations and will incorporate “spokes” to leverage partnerships with deeply trusted community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into critical resources.
The program established a 3-tiered approach, as follows:
Represent organizations with a national footprint
Organizations support a minimum of five service areas (not within the same state), containing a population greater than 500,000.
Organizations with statewide and/or regional reach
Organizations support an individual state, region, municipality, or city with total service population of greater than or equal to 500,000.
Focus in cities or areas
Organizations support a region, municipality, city, tribal or rural community with total service population of less than 500,000.
The Greater Brockton Community Navigator program is a Tier 3 and one of only four organizations in New England to be a part of this pilot program. We are the only ethnic community-based organization as well. This is a two-year grant!
It was a competitive process with over 700 applicants across the US. We are part of the 51 Community Navigators selected to provide coverage across the country with the support of our Spokes. Each hub organization will support a minimum of 5 spokes.
Our Spoke organizations are trusted, culturally knowledgeable local groups who will connect to specific sectors of the entrepreneurial community to provide assistance in areas of:
Financial assistance and access to capital
Contracting and procurement
Marketing, operations, business development, and exporting
The end goal of our partnership is to help establish a small minority business organization in the Greater Brockton area. To date, we have worked with over 80 small minority businesses in the greater Brockton community with more to come. We have been approached by businesses in Rhode Island and Connecticut as well.
What is the Community Navigators through SBA?
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, which the Cape Verdean Association was one, 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.
Community Navigator Pilot Program StatementThe 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 has launched the Community Navigator Pilot Program that will strengthen outreach to underserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities.
What is SBA's Community Navigator Program?The program, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will use a community navigator approach to help small businesses, with a focus on those owned by veterans, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals - including in rural and urban communities. The program is comprised of a lead “Hub” at the center of a network of “Spoke” organizations that deploy community advocates to work with small businesses during economic recovery. Recovery services can include financial assistance, access to capital supports, contracting and procurement assistance, marketing, operations, and business development, export and importing, and industry specific training, among other areas of technical assistance to aid businesses in stabilization and expansion.
What is the genesis to the Hub and Spoke model?The Hub and Spoke model is a part of the Community Navigator model – meaning a community organization, community financial institution as defined in section 7(a)(36) (A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(36)(A), or other private nonprofit organization engaged in the execution of community navigator services – outreach, education and technical assistance provided by community navigators that target eligible businesses to increase awareness of, and participation in, programs of the SBA. • The Hub and Spoke model is intended to create a network of trusted community organizations that can leverage direct access to small businesses to help them navigate resources at all stages of their growth. • Hub – The lead organization and grantee that mobilizes grant management and a network of Spokes. • Spoke – The organization on the ground connecting to the small businesses and meeting them where they are.
Who will Navigators serve?While all small businesses are eligible, CNPP’s (Community Navigator Pilot Program) Notice of Funding Opportunity specifically acknowledged the following underserved and/or underrepresented segments: • Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Businesses • Alaska Native and Indigenous • Asian American • Black and African American • Hispanic and Latinx • Middle Eastern • Native American • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander • North African • Tribal Communities • Rural Entrepreneurs • Entrepreneurs with Disabilities • LGBTQ Entrepreneurs • Veterans and Military Entrepreneurs (including spouses) • Women Entrepreneurs • Innovative Startups • Micro Businesses • Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Businesses
How were the Community Navigators selected?Awardees were selected based on a rigorous review process. After an initial eligibility review, applications were scored by one of 20 regional Technical Evaluation Panels, each of which were led by a representative from the Office of Field Operations. geographies and service segments. Once this review phase was completed, the 2nd round of review included senior-level SBA personnel who further evaluated the packages. This selection criteria included not only the scores from the Technical Evaluation Panels but also geographic diversity and diversity of service segments.
How did SBA ensure an unbiased selection of awardees?The SBA implemented several measures to ensure that there would be an unbiased selection process. A team of SBA officials (the “Awards Panel”) looked at every step of this process with close detail and integrity. The Community Navigator Pilot Program execution team developed a detailed methodology and review process that was reviewed by the SBA Office of General Counsel and implemented to ensure fairness and equity. The Awards Panel also underwent an implicit bias training before its evaluation and selection process. During the Technical Evaluation Panels, we ensured that Field Office representatives on each panel did not review proposals within their own region.
What was the eligibility criteria?Among those eligible to apply for a Community Navigator Program grant were private nonprofit organizations, resource partners, states, tribes, and units of local government. For more details on eligibility to apply and how to apply, view here.
How many organizations applied for grants?We received 745 applications from 656 organizations. After removing duplicate applications and ineligible business types, 502 applications were reviewed and scored. Of these 502 applications, 51 were selected for funding.
How many Awardees are there and where are they located?There are 51 awardees broken into the following tiers: • Tier 1: 8 Awards (max $5M per award) • Tier 2: 11 Awards (max $2.5M per award) • Tier 3: 32 Awards (max $1M per award) Please visit www.sba.gov/navigators to view a list of Community Navigator Pilot grantees.
Interested a downloadable PDF on the program?There are 17 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): To view all information about the program, please click here.