SBA Extends Deadline For $ 100 Million Grant Program To Help Businesses Recover From COVID

This article first appeared in Business Journals’ website.

Small Business Administration extends deadline for a $ 100 million grant program designed to connect small businesses to SBA aid and programs.

The Community Navigator Pilot program will provide grants of $ 1 million to $ 5 million to eligible organizations to provide advice, networking and serve as an informal connection to agency resources to help small businesses recover from the devastation. economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the original deadline to apply for these grants was July 12 – which has now been extended to July 23. The agency plans to award grants under the program in September.

“This program is designed to foster a hyperlocal approach through a nationwide network of community browsers who are on the ground to connect, empathize and personalize solutions for our small businesses during critical recovery,” said the administrator SBA Associate for the Office for Entrepreneurial Development Mark. Madrid in a press release announcing the extension of the deadline. “This bold effort underscores our agency’s commitment to advancing fairness and strengthening an ecosystem in which small businesses continue to apply for the diverse range of SBA resources, services and / or programs throughout the various years. stages of recovery, growth, scale and / or maturity. “

The ultimate goal of the grants program is to help revitalize small businesses through a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model in which a hub will be at the center of a series of hub-and-spoke organizations that use advocates. community to work with small businesses to recover from COVID-19 and better connect with small businesses owned by minorities, veterans and women.

“Inclusion and access continue to be among the most important priorities in helping small businesses recover. Our underrepresented businesses, women, and Native American businesses need our support now to grow and strengthen our economy, said Natalie Madeira Cofield, SBA deputy administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, in a statement. Press.

The program will run for two years, starting September 1, 2021 and ending August 31, 2023. Eligible organizations include state and local governments, economic development organizations, small business development centers, colleges and universities for purpose. non-profit and community development financial institutions, among others.

Interested organizations can go here to learn more about the program and how to apply.

The new grant program was approved by Congress earlier in 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and comes after criticism that the initial wave of COVID relief funding for small businesses, provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and others in 2020, went to well-connected businesses better able to access financial services, not those hardest hit by the pandemic.

In 2021, the Biden administration made policy changes and adjustments to various COVID relief programs, including special set-aside in the PPP for smaller, community-focused lenders, as well as changes to allow smaller businesses get larger loans under the program.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund included a 21-day priority window for grants to socially and economically disadvantaged restaurants, although the SBA has suffered a series of court rulings that ended that window, leaving thousands of small businesses without. restaurant grants.

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