Community Navigators Pilot Program Information Session at 1 p.m. Today

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South Carolina District Office

u s small business administration

Featured Events

Go Global: Expand Your Market With Exporting

Doing Business in South America Webinar Series

Join the U.S. Department of Commerce South America Team for market briefings with U.S. Embassy staff across South America. Learn about doing business in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, and Suriname. Each session will cover the current status of the market, top sector prospects, and information about tools and resources to help exports to the region. 

The schedule for the South American Doing Business webinar series is: Bolivia on June 9; Suriname on June 23; Chile on July 7; Guyana on July 21; and Ecuador on August 4.

The cost is $35 per participant per webinar. You can also register for the entire series for $200 per company.

Full Series Registration

Government contracting classroom

Federal Contracting Readiness Program

Starting June 11th, this comprehensive (8) week training program will assist 7(j) eligible firms interested in obtaining 8(a) certification. The webinar will focus on the process of becoming “Federal Contracting Ready”.

You Will Learn: 8(a) Eligibility Requirements, Federal Contracting Environment, Potential for Success and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) / DCAA Compliance.


Information Corner

COVID-19, coronavirus, CDC

On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit Now Available

Today, we are pleased to share a new On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit (below) to support our stakeholders in partnering with local vaccine providers to continue to make vaccinations more convenient and accessible. As we know, getting shots in arms is the most effective way to help us safely reopen, get Americans back to work, and keep small businesses open, as President Biden has outlined. Our SBA stakeholders and partners are critical to that effort. Best of all, businesses that participate in this all-hands on deck effort by allowing employees time to get vaccinated will be eligible for a tax credit.

This toolkit includes a roadmap for working directly with vaccine providers to launch vaccination clinics in places people know and trust, sample roles and responsibilities to guide discussion and planning with your vaccine provider, and points-of-contact for vaccine providers offering on-site vaccination services. 

Additionally, if your organization operates across multiple geographies and is interested in launching a national partnership with vaccine providers, please reach out to, cc’ed, for additional information and assistance.

More Information

Community Navigator

Community Navigators Pilot Program Information Session at 1 p.m. Today

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing an Information Session for you to learn about the Community Navigator Program.

The Community Navigator Pilot Program is designed to provide high quality support and assistance with pandemic relief programs and recovery services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Recovery services can include financial assistance, access to capital supports, contracting and procurement assistance, marketing, operations, and business development, export and importing, and industry specific training, among other areas of technical assistance to aid businesses in stabilization and expansion.

In total the program will award $100M in grants to support nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, state, local, tribal governments, Community Financial Institutions and SBA resource partners, among other institutions.

Please Note: For-profit small businesses are not eligible for this grant.

During the webinar you will:

• Hear about the program structure and eligibility requirements

• Learn more about the program goals as it relates to outreach, education, and technical services to increase awareness and use of programs of the Small Business Administration

For more information about this grant or to apply, click here. Applications must be submitted by July 12th. 



SBA Launches 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, Debuts SBIR Catalyst to Award over $5 Million in Prizes

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) with the addition of a new component aimed at spurring investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs will recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development (R&D). New to this year’s competition, two tracks will run totaling over $5 million in cash prizes.

“The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.  “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs -- including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions -- so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”

Track 1-The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC): Prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to accelerators, incubators, and related entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)/R&D entrepreneurs. This year, the competition will award an estimated 84 prizes to successful applicants who focus their proposed efforts on assisting the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues such as clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant (i.e., rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).

Track 2- SBIR Catalyst: For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of SBIR/STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) applicants and awardees, fulfilling SBA’s mission of addressing gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing the relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals.

Competition rules, requirements and additional information can be found at

Submission period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to June 25, 2021 4:00 PM EDT 

Winners to Be Announced: August 2021

About the SBIR and STTR Programs

The SBIR/STTR programs represent the nation’s largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. SBA coordinates the programs, collaborating with 11 federal agencies, who collectively supported more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding.

SBA Disaster Loans  Check disaster declarations  Apply for a disaster loan   Check your status

SBA Working Capital Loan Deadline Approaching in South Carolina Due to Excessive Moisture and Tropical Strom Bertha

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations in the counties of Berkeley, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clarendon, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, Lee, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and Williamsburg in South Carolina that June 21 is the filing deadline for federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans due to Excessive Moisture and Tropical Storm Bertha, from May 18, 2020 through June 1, 2020.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at and should apply under SBA declaration # 16759, not for the COVID-19 incident.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than June 21, 2021.

Apply Now

Upcoming Events

Simple Steps: Thinking of Starting a Business
SCORE Business Mentor
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT

WATCH PARTY: Growing Your Business Globally: 3 Female Founders Share Keys to Success
Women's Business Center
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT