Chatham Business Association Navigator Program
Thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Chatham Business Association is piloting an expanded a brand new program titled the Chatham Business Association Navigator program to better reach underserved communities.
The SBA announced the grant opportunity—the Community Navigator Pilot Program—in May 2021 with the goal of bringing business support to underserved entrepreneurs. The program is part of the American Rescue Plan initiative which aims to provide assistance during economic recovery. The Chatham Business Association is one of 51 grantees nationwide, and only organization in Illinois to receive the funding; the project will take place over two years.
Developing an inclusive business environment for all
“Your Chamber is focused on accelerating Chicago's business growth and developing an inclusive business environment for all. Through the help of this grant and our community partners, we know that we’re getting closer to reaching those goals,” “We hope you’ll join us in celebrating what this grant means for the future of our area business community.”
Hub & Spoke Model Program
This program is designed to reduce barriers to accessing critical resources for small businesses—with a focus on microenterprises, cooperatives, and businesses in the early stages of development—owned by women, socially and economically disadvantaged, and underserved entrepreneurs. Through the Hub & Spoke Model, the Chatham Business Association serves as the program “hub” connecting businesses to “spokes”— who help connect to specific sectors of the entrepreneurial community.
Meet the spokes
Austin African American Business Networking Association
The Austin African American Business Networking Association was formed in the summer of 2003 by local business owners who are proud of their African American heritage and felt a need to pool our resources to bring about a unified and effective voice for the Austin communities majority African American community. Learn more.
ADV Business Consulting
Formed in June 2016, AD-V Business Consulting, Inc. is a professional business service designed to assist the small business owner and not-for-profit organization manager with the administrative and financial tools needed to operate a successful business. Our company comprehends and appreciates the unique challenges that small businesses and nonprofits often face, especially those in urban communities. We offer five pillars of service: Business and Nonprofit Formation, Bookkeeping, Grant Writing and Consultation, Construction Management, Certification, and Community Development. Learn more.
The Entrepreneur Success Program
The Entrepreneur Success Program (ESP) is a nationally recognized innovative program that provides Business Development Education, Capital Access Counseling, Strategic Business Planning, Startup & Growth Marketing Workshops, Technology Solutions and Financial Management Systems to Chicago's Rising Entrepreneurs, Job Creators and Wealth Builders! Learn more.
The Monroe Foundation
The Monroe Foundation is a publicly supported not-for-profit community and enterprise development intermediary. We seek to educate, link and fund community development projects within low-income communities in that State of Illinois. Learn more.
Torito Arts Organization
ToritoArtists© is an international artist management and performing arts production company based in Chicago. We work with both burgeoning and established performers from around the world who are currently creating exemplary and cross-cultural new works in the areas of dance, music, flamenco, comedy and theatre. Learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my small business qualifies for the program?
The target demographic for this program includes, but is not limited to, small business owners who are women, minorities, disabled, veterans or are located in illinois
Does this program provide financial assistance for my business?
Unfortunately, there is not any financial support provided through this program. We aim to be your partner in your small business journey and help provide opportunities for technical assistance, training and mentoring for small business owners that meet the qualifications and the employees that work for them. However, our team is happy to help connect you to other organizations who can help in this area. Reach out to us today!
I’m not currently in the city limits of Chicago – do I qualify for this program?
What type of time commitment is associated with the program for my business?
That’s the beauty of this program – the time commitment is 100 percent up to you! There will be trainings offered at various times, and you can choose to participate in one or more. Mentoring will be another service and you will determine your level of involvement with your mentor.
I’m not currently a member of the Chatham Business Association. Does my business qualify?
You do not have to be a member of the Chatham Business Association, but we’d love to be a partner with you on your journey! Learn more about gaining a dedicated partner on your business journey working to help you – and the community – succeed.
What can I anticipate if I sign-up for this program?
Fill out the form we will generate TBA, and you’ll be contacted by one one of our team members to determine qualification. You will then be provided with a variety of opportunities that match your priorities and needs!
What is the life-span of this program?
Funding for the project is over a two-year period ending in November 2023.
How is the Small Business Administration involved?
Through this program, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is engaging with states, local governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations in targeted outreach for small businesses in underserved communities. To learn more about this pilot program, click here.
I’m not interested in going through the program, but feel I could bring value in some way. Is there a role for me?
Absolutely! As they prepare for and execute this project, each of the community spokes will be seeking out entrepreneurial and business leaders in their communities to serve as partners and mentors. If you’re interested in connecting with any of the spoke organizations to serve in this way, reach out to us HERE.