SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University’s (SU) Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF) will use a $5 million federal award to serve as a community-navigator hub to aid small businesses.
IVMF was selected as a Tier 1 partner as a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) American Rescue Plan initiative, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) announced Monday.
The IVMF is part of the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC), which is housed at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello building at 101 Waverly Ave. in Syracuse.
Besides IVMF, the Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) was selected as a Tier 3 partner and will be awarded $1 million.
The SBA is administering the funding for the community-navigator program. Nationwide, the community-navigator pilot program will provide $100 million in funding to 51 organizations to connect America’s entrepreneurs to government resources.
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have hit small businesses hard over the last year, especially veteran, rural, minority-owned, and small mom and pop shops that may not have the same resources as larger well-connected businesses, the lawmakers noted.
They went on to explain that the community-navigator program is designed to address these concerns by helping reduce barriers to government programs for underserved entrepreneurs to help jump-start recovery and growth.
IVMF is “honored” to have been selected for the program, Mike Haynie, Syracuse University vice chancellor and IVMF founder and executive director, said.
“The IVMF team is excited about the opportunity to leverage our experience, relationships, and passion for serving veterans and their families, to help America’s veteran-owned businesses grow, thrive, and prosper,” Haynie said.
Program hubs will serve as “centralized, lead organizations,” and leverage partnerships with community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into resources to “recover and grow,” the lawmakers said.
Specifically, Syracuse University’s IVMF hub is responsible for coordinating community-based, economic recovery for veteran-owned small businesses. The grant will allow the IVMF to support veteran-owned and military-spouse-owned businesses with entrepreneurship training, small-business technical assistance, loan preparation, capital readiness, corporate and federal contracting, and networking.