Community Navigator Grant Supports Small Business Outreach

The Invest Atlanta Board voted to accept a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The grant was awarded to the Georgia Micro Enterprise Network (GMEN) as a Tier 2 Hub for the Community Navigator Pilot Program, with Invest Atlanta serving as one of its participating "spokes.”

Utilizing a “hub and spoke” model from public health care federal programming, the Community Navigator Pilot Program will help level the playing field for entrepreneurs, especially underserved women, people of color, veterans, and rural and low-income communities. Grantee “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. 

Through the Community Navigator Pilot Program, SBA is engaging with states, local governments, resource partners and other organizations in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities.

According to Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, the SBA has been focused on providing more tools to help small businesses – especially those in disinvested communities. “Through this partnership with the Georgia Microenterprise Network, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, we’re going to be able to provide technical assistance support to our businesses specifically in underinvested parts of town,” said Klementich. “I’m excited about this relationship, excited about more funds coming to the city to support our businesses and excited to see what this investment will mean to a lot of our underserved communities and businesses.”

‘Hubs” and “Spokes” will partner to connect to specific sectors of the entrepreneurial community to assistance during economic recovery, including financial assistance and access to capital; contracting and procurement; marketing, operations, business development and exporting; as well as industry-specific training.

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