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Jul 12, 2023

Our conversation today is part of an ongoing partnership with the US Small Business Administration highlighting small businesses and offering advice and resources to small business owners.

We talked about the Community Navigator Pilot Program with Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer at the Virginia-Richmond District Office for the US Small Business Administration. Joining Martin was Chris Jones, Harrisonburg City Council Member to talk about one of their programs: B³.

Martin explained how the CNPP works and talked about the various hubs and spokes that come together to serve the business community. Chris told us how the B³ program started and the impact it's having on black and brown-owned small businesses across Rockingham County.

B³ is a holistic approach to growing Black and Brown Owned Businesses in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Additionally, B³ seeks to create a welcoming culture that will attract new black and brown-owned business ventures and will encourage increasing investment from our existing black and brown-owned businesses.

B³ blends a combination of comprehensive business support including business plan development or improvement, marketing guidance, technical assistance, mini-grants, mentorship, and networking support. B³ utilizes a phased assistance approach, customized to the business's current stage and needs. B³ cohorts are launched every three months.

B³ is open to any existing black and brown-owned business located in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County. The business must be at least 50% owned by a black or brown individual.

B³ is open to any black or brown individual residing in and seeking to start a business in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County.

In our area, Shenandoah Community Capital Fund is the Community Navigator Program of record. Learn more about them here: