Belknap EDC & Community Navigator Program Receive 2023 Best of Business Award
The Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) and The Community Navigator Program were chosen by NH Business Review (NHBR) editors in their 2023 Best of Business (BOB) Awards as one of the most significant programs to help Granite Staters launch businesses.
The BOB Awards are held every year, where readers cast their vote in a range of business-to-business categories. Additionally, NHBR’s editors pick their favorite initiatives that help boost New Hampshire’s economy. Belknap EDC is proud to partner with the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) and the Wentworth Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO), on this two-year pilot program that offers professional services and solutions for New Hampshire small businesses and entrepreneurs at no cost.
New Hampshire’s Community Navigator Program is designed to reduce barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often face when trying to recover, grow, or start their businesses. CDFA was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to launch the program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, in December 2021. Within the first year, the Community Navigator Program served 255 clients, with a total of 1,332 hours of assistance.
“We are proud to receive this recognition and have enjoyed working with the Community Navigator team to advance our economic development mission in the Lakes Region.” said Belknap EDC’s Executive Director, Justin Slattery. “We look forward to an impactful second year of the project.”
The Community Navigator Program is powered by an ecosystem of experienced small business and microenterprise technical assistance providers across the state. Small businesses can gain access to resources and services at no charge, including: business counseling; marketing, operations, business planning, and strategy development; connection to training and skills development resources; and access to capital.
“Every year, we choose those companies that help to make a difference in the state that don’t necessarily fall into a specific category. These organizations exemplify strong business practices and serve as a model for business leaders across the state,” said Jeff Feingold, editor of NH Business Review. “Congratulations to the Community Navigator Program and the rest of this year’s winners and editor’s picks on this well-deserved honor!”
The Community Navigator Program, along with all 2023 BOB Award winners, was celebrated during NH Business Review’s BOB Awards Party on March 9 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. To learn more about the 2023 Best of Business Awards, visit nhbr.com/BOB-Awards.
To learn more about New Hampshire’s Community Navigator Program, reach out to a partner organization, and sign up for news and updates. Visit nhcommunitynavigator.org.