About CNPPCollaborating Together to Connect Small Business Owners with Critical Services
The Community Navigation Pilot Program (CNPP) was established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The SBA launched the CNP Program to strengthen outreach to underserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities. This approach was designed to help the small businesses, with a focus on those owned by veterans, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals — including in rural and urban communities that had been hit the hardest by COVID-19 pandemic and severe economic impacts. The program is comprised of a lead “Hub” at the center of a network of “Spoke” organizations that deploy community advocates to work with small businesses during economic recovery. 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.
On a national basis and focused on five regional service markets, USPAACC, headquartered in Washington DC, has enlisted fifteen trusted, culturally, and technically knowledgeable partners to do targeted outreach to underserved Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and their entrepreneurial community. USPAACC as the Hub and Tier 1 Grantee, will manage and lead our network of Spokes in California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Texas. The USPAACC designated CNPP staff, and the Spoke designated staff have decades of experience working with and providing outreach, advocacy, and training to the AAPI and other underserved communities. Nationally, because many AAPI small businesses are operated by new immigrants, the language barrier is still a major deterrent to their understanding of social programs, technologies and what the Small Business Administration has to offer. This dedicated group will work together in the Hub and Spoke model as community ambassadors with in-language capabilities in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Fujianese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and Hindi. Each Spoke has unique and specialized capabilities and are grounded within their communities providing excellent work to small businesses for many years.
Meet the Team
Kevin Nguyen Data System Specialist
With over 7 years of database and systems management, it is an honor to be part of the Community Navigator Pilot Program as the Database System Specialist. I am bilingual in Vietnamese and English with a passion for music and culture. I hope to be of service to the underserved communities.
Thea Brown Program Manager
I have been a marketing practitioner throughout most of my career. My experience and expertise are in grass roots level program planning, brand activation and special events. Having migrated to the US in 2019, my first job was for a non-profit where I worked with small businesses in an economically disadvantaged community in San Diego. This has greatly influenced my career decisions and my passion in helping out the underserved and minority communities in the US. I earned my MBA degree at the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools in the Philippines which I credit for my keen interest in the many facets of business. I am bilingual and fluent in Tagalog and English.
Tri Nguyen Business Advocate Coordinator
With 20 years of work experience in Southeast Asia and Northern America, I am fluent in marketing & sales as well as accounting and finance practice. I have executed projects for brand strategy, marketing channels, and sales operations in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). I joined USPAACC in 2022 as the Business Advocate Coordinator for the CNPP to train and manage Business Advocates of Spokes in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, and Texas on outreach planning and implementation that provide assistance of financial access, marketing & business consultation, and other core training to the underserved Asian American small business communities. Prior to joining USPAACC, I worked for Advantage Solutions handling Marc Wriley's M&M candy account in Tucson Arizona. I am bilingual in Vietnamese and English, and I have a strong passion for helping others that best matches one of my philosophies: “Serving people to be perfect, being perfect to serve people.
With a mission to be the single unified voice advocating equal opportunities for Pan Asian American/AAPI businesses, the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation and our partners through the recently awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Tier -1 Community Navigation Pilot Program (CNPP) Grant, will focus on 5 regional service markets. It will focus on underserved and unserved Pan Asian American businesses. Through this collaboration with 12 trusted, culturally, and technically knowledgeable partners, our goal is to connect business owners in those communities with critical services and assistance programs.
USPAACC, with corporate headquarters in Washington DC, will be the Hub where leadership and implementation of the CNPP, will connect with our dedicated national network of Spokes in California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.
With the business and financial advisory support and expertise in market entry of our community partners to the Pan Asian American/AAPI business community, this collaboration will help these businesses bounce back after the financial instability caused by the pandemic. USPAACC will communicate with them in their language to assist in understanding, training for and cultivating the skills needed for development and growth; and through technology and advisement, gain the ability to cut through the red tapes, develop confidence, trust and find their voice.