Grant program helps cities, counties, nonprofits boost small business recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting applications for its new Community Navigator Pilot Program, a $100 million competitive grant program funded by the American Rescue Plan.

It is designed to offer a community navigator approach — providing funding to local organizations that distribute the money to small businesses in need, particularly those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women and veterans.

SBA is accepting applications from nonprofits, local governments and other partners through July 12, with award decisions announced in August and programs to start in September.

As part of the initiative, selected community navigators will provide businesses with counseling, networking and the assistance needed to recover from the pandemic shutdowns.

Competitive grant awards range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period.

For information go to

Economic Symposium 2021 explores post-pandemic recovery

OLYMPIA — Hybrid offices, emerging jobs, training, industry sector recovery and ideas for overcoming the challenges of post-pandemic recovery efforts are all part of the program planned for the two-day Economic Symposium 2021 coming June 15-16.

The virtual event, titled “A Post-Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery with Metrics that Matter" and organized by the state Employment Security Department, is designed for large and small employers, community leaders, workforce professionals, educators and others.

The cost is $45 per person for the live event, along with access to all recorded content through Dec. 31 or $30 per person for access to the recorded content from June 17-Dec. 31.

The live event provides a chance to ask questions of the presenters, connect with virtual booth staff and network at virtual tables on specific topics.

Experts will present information on economic recovery topics that range from the future of office space (remote and hybrid), training and workforce development to a look at what industry sectors are thriving and how employers are addressing pandemic-related changes.

Keynote speakers also will present an overview of topics including a review of employment and labor market data during the pandemic and the state’s economic forecast.

For details, go to

Nevonne McDaniels: (509) 664-7151