The VPA is excited to be apart of the Vermont Small Business Development Center’s Community Navigators Pilot Program (CNPP). Awarded in December of 2021, the grant will be operating through December of 2023. The goal is to “reduce barriers that all small businesses — including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women and those from rural communities —often face in accessing critical support.” The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a “hub and spoke” model, with VtSBDC as the hub, and nine spoke organizations that will create impact through the central hub. Together, they will leverage partnerships with deeply trusted community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into critical resources, according to the SBA’s plan.
Specifically, the VPA will support the work through general amplification of the project and by distributing grant dollars directly to schools via a mini-money grant application process. The VPA will announce the program details and invite applications in spring of 2022.
The VPA is functioning as one of nine “spokes” or sub-recipients of the grant. The other additional participating organizations are: Vermont Law School (VLS), Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) Financial Futures Program, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), Center for Women and Enterprise (CWEVT), Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC), Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Vermont Professionals of Color Network, Main Street Alliance-Vermont.
Read the Full Press Release (December, 2021)
Funding [in part] through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.