SBA Administrator Guzman, Biden-Harris Administration Announce U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. As Tier 1 Community Navigator Pilot Program Grantee

USBCawarded up to $5million to support Black-owned businesses and chambers in recovery and growth

Washington D.C. (Nov 1, 2021) — The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)Community Economic Development Corporation was announced by U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman as a Tier 1 grantee for the Biden-Harris Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program.

The USBC will be ramping up operations in the coming weeks to support their network of more than 150Black chambers of commerce and nearly 400,000 Black businesses, and in turn, the communities they anchor. The USBC operates from five-pillars of service: Advocacy, Access to Capital, Contracting, Entrepreneur Training, and Chamber Development.

“Forty-one percent of Black owned businesses went out of business at the start of the pandemic between February and April 2020 alone and most because of lack of information,”says Ron Busby, Sr., President and CEO of USBC.“This relationship with the SBA and the Community Navigator Program grant will allow us to reach those business ownersand more across the country to ensure they have the acumen, resources, and relationships they need to not just get back to business, but to grow and have sustainability in their communities.Thank you, Administrator Guzman,Mark Madrid, Associate AdministratorandNatalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator, Women’s Business Ownership for this opportunity. We look forward to continuing to work with this administration as we continue to build back better.”

The SBA awarded grants across three tiers to Community Navigators ranging from $1M to $5M, distributed over the course of two years. Tier 1 organizations have a national footprint; Tier 2represents a statewide and/or regional reach; Tier 3 has a city, countywide and/or rural reach.

“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,”said Administrator GuzmanThe 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 Community Navigator Pilot Program is an American Rescue Plan initiative designed to reduce barriers that all small businesses, including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women, and those from rural communities and communities of color, often face in accessing critical support. The program will provide $100 million in funding to 51 organizations that will work with hundreds of local groups to connect America’s entrepreneurs to government resources so they can recover and thrive.