Two Minnesota Organizations Receive ‘up to $1M’ in Community Navigator Pilot Program Grants

U.S. Small Business Administration members

The Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, MN and the Minnesota State University Mankato’s Strategic Partnerships Center have each received up to $1 million in Community Navigator Pilot Program grant funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The program is an American Rescue Plan initiative intended to increase small businesses’ access to critical support. It distributed $100 million, in total, to 51 organizations across the nation that will partner as hubs for local groups to connect entrepreneurs with government resources, the administration said. The funding was announced late last month.

“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,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in the news release. “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.”

The program has a 3-tier approach that provides funding over two years according to geographical level of reach. The Chinese American Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota State University Mankato’s Strategic Partnerships Center received Tier 3 funding (up to $1 million) to focus on city, countywide and/or rural engagement, while Tier 1 (up to $5 million) recipients are national and Tier 2 (up to $2.5 million) are regional or statewide.

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