The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis has devastated small businesses nationwide, especially minority and women-owned businesses. To combat the negative effects of the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27th, 2020 to provide targeted aid to businesses in need.

 Identified under the CARES Act, in April 2020, the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) and America’s SBDC were awarded a grant to construct a web platform to provide small businesses with consolidated and reliable information related to COVID-19 and resources from federal agencies. The grant under the CARES Act will also support a training capability for small business advisors to help address economic struggles facing this community.

 The Resource Partners Training Portal (RPTP) aims to support small businesses affected by the Coronavirus through two independent avenues. The first avenue will provide a centralized resource of reliable information from federal agencies. This website will also include an easy-to-use navigating capability, to further organize the many resources available.

The second RPTP function will provide an education and training capability for WBC, SBDC, SCORE, and VBOC advisors. This education platform will contain interactive learning capabilities, provide informative content, promote leaner collaboration with an included chat feature, and support SCORE content, communication and collaboration. The training capability is projected to be available in June 2020.

AWBC and ASBDC have America’s small businesses in mind and have worked diligently to publish the live public website, COVID-SB.ORG. Working in unprecedented time, AWBC and ASBCD will continue to prioritize the needs of the small business community and accordingly implement this project in multiple phases.  

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