The?U.S. Small Business Administration ?announced Tuesday that it has begun accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program. The new $100 million initiative, established by the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, will leverage a community navigator approach to reach the smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals as well as women and veterans. The SBA will accept applications through July 12, and anticipates making award decisions by August 2021. “These businesses have suffered the greatest economic loss from this pandemic,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a news release. “We’ll be using a hub and spoke model in local regions across the nation to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and SBA’s resources and programs.” Applications for funding will be available to nonprofit organizations, state, local and tribal governments, SBA resource partners and other organizations. Selected partners will engage in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities. Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period that’s projected to commence in September. For more information on the Community Navigators Initiative, visit www.sba.gov/navigators.