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Business Navigator Initiative

Federal and state governments have extended more resources to help small businesses recover from the pandemic than ever before. Online seminars, cash grants, the Paycheck Protection Program and a host of other tools have been available to help impacted small businesses.

Unfortunately, companies owned by women and people of color have been far less likely to benefit from these resources due to a wide variety of barriers, including awareness, experience accessing government programs, and language barriers.

To support an equitable economic recovery, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Seattle have come together to ensure that all businesses have the chance to get ahead.

The Business Navigator Initiative expands successful local navigator programs to a King County-wide model. The initiative connects targeted businesses with free or low-cost training, technical assistance, and other resources. By deploying business navigators who can provide culturally relevant business assistance, the initiative will help to address the barriers that prevent BIPOC and rural businesses from accessing business resources.

Access to business assistance resources can make or break a small business experiencing challenges or changes in their business environment. The most frequently needed resources help owners navigate complex issues like applying for loans and grants, taxes, expanding to add online sales, or hiring new employees.

Helping a small business succeed improves the economy for everyone. Successful small businesses generate critical local tax revenue, provide at least 40 percent of jobs in the United States, and maintain a vibrant local economy.

How can you benefit from the Business Navigator Initiative?

We also want to engage economic development leaders, financial sector leaders, and community stakeholders who want to be involved with or stay informed about the Business Navigator Initiative. Email Annie Tran to keep updated on the Business Navigator Initiative.

Community-based organizations

If you are a community-based organization interested in supporting the Navigator Initiative, please contact Annie Tran for more information.

Take the Business Survey by June 3 (Extended Deadline)

We need input from businesses to ensure the Navigator initiative addresses key issues and opportunities.

If you are a small business owner or manager, please provide input via a short 5-7 minute survey (by June 3, 2022).

The Small Business Navigator Survey is available in the following languages:

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