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SBA Administrator Features SOCO Community Navigator Among National Tour Stop In Denver

Mi Casa Resource Center® hosts the only Women's Business Center in Colorado. Community Navigator was please to visit with them to join SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman on her "Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship" tour to coincide with National Small Business Week 2022 last month to celebrate America’s 32.5 million small businesses who play an integral role in powering our nation's historically strong economic comeback.

Mi Casa's programs provide support to entrepreneurs and small business owners through all stages of business development. Their team of experts not only focuses on the business but also the business owner, providing wraparound services to address potential barriers. Community Navigator is proud to work in partnership with this member of the SBA family.

CAPTIONS: Below main, panel with SBA officials featuring Community Navigator Program representatives and partners in Colorado. Lower right, Governor Jared Polis speaks. Lower left, Community Navigator Co-Directors left to right: Cheryl Sanchez & Jacqueline Armendariz Unzueta.


Above Photo: SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman speaks during her "Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship" national tour last month.

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The Southern Colorado Small Business Development Center

Joins Community Navigator!

What Community Navigator provides for the SBDC:

SOCO SBDC will serve as a Community Navigator consortium member adding vital capacity for advising and consultation. With the help of Community Navigator, the SOCO SBDC will be able to connect entrepreneurs to direct service at no cost.

What the SBDC will provide Community Navigator:

  • The E-Commerce Education Series is scheduled for July 11-14, 2022. At least 30 entrepreneurs will receive a $1,000 Tech Award to help improve or set-up their e-commerce platform.
  • Childcare industry education and training to help both new and existing childcare operations. 
  • Small business consulting and support services for entrepreneurs.   
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Local Feature: Introducing The Golden Lotus Foundation

Visit Golden Lotus Foundation's Website

Part of the Community Navigator Pilot Program's strength lies in its connectivity among Southern Colorado. The program is glad to feature groups and businesses who've engaged with us as we try to reach new audiences!

The Golden Lotus Foundation (GLF) is a nonprofit organization established in 2011 with the goal of providing an avenue for people to experience Asian heritage and tradition through the creation of the Asian Heritage Center. Through a partnership with the City of Colorado Springs, on December 28, 2021, GLF acquired 8.5 acres in the Broadmoor area to build the heritage center along with a tea house, botanical gardens, and pavilions.

The future GLF Asian Heritage Complex will represent at least six of the numerous Asian communities in Colorado: Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese and provide more opportunities to learn about Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. 

The public is invited to attend a GLF Open House Saturday, June 11, 2022 to explore the ongoing planning and development of the project.

Note: Community Navigator resources are specific to small business and small business serving nonprofits. Meanwhile, program partnerships and connections are cross sector to reach a broader spectrum of small business clients.

La Cucaracha, Longtime Chicano Pueblo Newspaper, features Community Navigator Pilot Program 

The Community Navigator Pilot Program extends its gratitude to La Cucaracha for the opportunity to reach a new small business audience with their annual publication. Read the full article about our program (pg. 30) by clicking the button below.

Click Here for Full Publication PDF

Coming Soon:

Energize Community Program Offers Low-Interest Loans for

Pueblo County Small Businesses

Energize CO is anticipated to begin accepting loan applications this month. Business advisors are ready to help applicants with their loan application and applicants can schedule time HERE

Ryan Cobbins, Gap Fund director, is available to answer any questions applicants may have:

Applying for a Loan 101 - Energize Colorado

View the Sample Loan Application

More Small Business Funding Opportunities

Contact the Navigator Program HERE if you'd like assistance with any of these opportunities.


Southern Colorado:

As our access to capital Navigator, check out their programs HERE. Stay tuned for more opportunities as their new federally designated Community Financial Development Institution (CDFI) status develops!

Colorado Enterprise Fund:

CEF will also have more funding opportunities opening up this year. Check out their current programs HERE.


The Colorado BIPOC Micro Equity Fund supports the growth and resiliency of Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses through patient equity-like investments designed to feel like friends and family capital. Learn more HERE.

The Colorado Community Revitalization Grant provides gap funding for projects in creative districts, historic districts, main streets or neighborhood commercial centers. Applications are open and accepted on a rolling basis.

Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT):

-Browse an OEDIT program & funding overview HERE

-Rural Jump Start Program:

If a business is located in a Rural-Jump Start zone, businesses can receive up to $20,000 as a newly established business and up to $2,500 per new hire. (Eligible counties: Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo)

If a business is located in a Tier 1 Just Transition community, businesses can receive up to $40,000 as a newly established business and up to $5,000 per new hire. (Eligible county: Pueblo)

Marketing Trainings For Your Small Business Toolbox


Every first Friday of the month through November, join the Brown Bag Seminar Series to

learn marketing skills to help your business and the opportunity to access related

technical assistance counseling.

Register at

Additional Training & Counseling Opportunities for Support from Experts

The Community Navigator Program is offering ongoing  training and counseling sessions for QuickBooks financial software and related topics. Registration is required. Email to let us know you want to sign-up for this opportunity.

More News & Resources from the SBA

Federal Resources for Small Businesses Tax Preparation Help - Learn more here

SBA Brown Bagged Lunch Sessions hosted by SBA Colorado and Mi Casa Resource Center through September 2022:

HUB Zones: Wednesday, July 6 - Noon-12:45 PM

Small Mentor - Protege Program:

Wednesday, August 3 - Noon-12:45 PM

Small Joint Venture Program:

Wednesday, September 7 - Noon-12:45 PM


Community Navigator Pilot Program Service Area

This program is funded through a U.S. Small Business Administration grant.

All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.