There have been several funding options from the SBA since the pandemic, these funding range from small business grants to loans and other financial support to help small businesses.
The current PPP loan that the U.S. Small Business Administration program, which is termed “Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), has approved $521 billion aimed at providing financial support to help small businesses in sustaining payroll and keeping their workers.
However, these loans can also be forgiven if the criteria for loan forgiveness have been met. The PPP loan is in response to the federal government’s economic plan for the Covid-19 pandemic. The PPP loan as of May 2021 has hit $380B in funding.
If you ever wondered why did all the money go? According to CNN, almost 650,000 current loans are worth $150,000 or more. Though the data provided does not detail the businesses that got what, the revelation sure speaks volumes, nonetheless.
The previous funding options that the SBA had been able to institute have been largely depleted by big corporations and businesses, leaving small businesses with little or no funding support.
This is why the SBA has launched the Community Navigator Grant to businesses that fall under socially and economically disadvantaged to be able to get funded.
Here is all the details that you should know about the Community Navigator Grant and How to Apply.
What is the SBA Community Navigator Grant?
The SBA Community Navigator Grant, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, is a $100 million grant program enacted through the American Rescue Plan Act, that is aimed at providing counseling, networking, and financial assistance to help the nation’s smallest businesses at this unprecedented times.
The Community Navigator Grant will help minority businesses, those who benefited from previous programs, such as the PPP, and those that are yet to, can apply.
The SBA explains that this grant was established to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind. The list of the business that falls under this category are listed below:
5 Types of Businesses that qualify for the SBA Program
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Rural Small Businesses
If your business is located in a rural area of the United States. This is a great chance for small businesses who did not have the opportunity of applying for previous funding programs to apply.
If you have a business that is located in a rural area of the United States, you qualify for the SBA Community Navigator Grant program.
What you need do is ensure that you get the necessary documentation and other requirements ready, so you can apply for the grant funding as soon as you possibly can.
Black Women Owned
If you identify as Black or African American. If you are Black female business owner, you can apply for the SBA pilot program.
The funding can help you with setting up your business, and acquiring the necessary tools that you need to get your business off the ground.
This SBA pilot program is a seamless program that can be completed in little or no time. Applying early is essential to getting the funding you applied for.
People of Color
If you happen to be in this category, you qualify. This include those who already have established businesses, and new business owners alike.
The U.S. SBA Community Navigator Grant Program can help you with the needed funding to expand and grow your business.
The funds can be used in a plethora of ways from getting essentials for your businesses to paying off business acquired expenses, and investing in your business growth.
Veteran Owned Businesses
All veterans qualify for the program. If you are. a veteran that owns a business, you can apply for this program too. The process is a seamless one that requires no previous funding history or collateral to apply.
The SBA is committed to ensuring that Veteran-owned businesses are not left behind in the funding options that the Small Business Administration has instituted since the pandemic.
If you are a veteran that is yet to to setup your business, this grant funding from the SBA. can help.
All Minority Businesses
If you are a member of a socially and economically disadvantaged demographic.
It is important to understand that you qualify regardless of previous funding you may have received.
Furthermore, in ensuring that you are prepared to receive your grant funding, it is important to have documentation ready to apply, as this grant will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
Is the SBA Community Navigator Grant Program Free?
We get this question quite often — Is the SBA Community Navigator Grant free? Do I have to repay the funds? The program is designed to support minority business that have been hit by the pandemic.
Many of these businesses were not able to access previous funding that was established to support small business owners in previous funding by the SBA.
This grant program was established for those individuals. If you are a Black business owner, starting one or working on one, this grant is open to you.
What you have to do is ensure that you meet the requirements that have been set by the SBA, and you can apply for the grants without any hesitations whatsoever.
How Do I Apply for the SBA Community Navigator Program?
To apply for the U.S. Small Business Community Navigator Pilot Program, you would need to meet the grant eligibility criteria.
Grant eligibility criteria basically stipulate the requirements that you need in order to be awarded a grant by a grant-issuing agency, a government or non-governmental organization, in some cases, venture capitalists, and local, state, and federal government.
The SBA in this case requires that your business meets the socially and “economically left behind or disadvantage category”.
What are the criteria for the SBA Community Navigator Grants? What do these really mean? How does it apply to me and my business, you may ask?
The grant funding by the SBA could not have come at a better time, owing to the fact that the majority of the Black-owned businesses, particularly black female business owners have not been at the receiving end of funding for small businesses.
If you happen to fall in this category, and need help with finding grants to start a business or grow one you have, the 37 list of grants for Black women business owners is a great place to start.
As soon as you know you meet the grant-eligibility criteria, the next step for you is to proceed with applying.
The U.S. SBA Community Navigator Grant program is relatively new, as it had just been annoceed today, May 25th as at the time of publishing theis article.
However, application can get quite competitive, so do not hesitate to apply to get that funding for your business.
When Do I Apply for the SBA Community Navigator Grant?
The process of applying for the U.S. Small Business Administration Community Grant Program is not a complex one. Knowing how to navigate through the program requirement can be helpful in getting awarded the grant applied for.
If you need help with applying, click here to speak with one of our grant expert who can help guide you.
The program office is officially open, and you can apply by going directly to the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
You can apply for grants that are tailored to Black-owned small businesses when you know how to navigate through the program.
Knowing the requirement of each grant you are applying for can be helpful when it comes to getting awarded the grant you desire.
The gran application process can appear quite cumbersome for a new grant applicant, but it is an investment of hard work and commitment that is worth the time and investment.
If you have checked and confirmed you have all that is required to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration Grant Program, the next step for you now is to apply without any further delays.