Small Business Navigator FAQ

How does this Program work? 

Local business owners who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for free one-on-one technical assistance from qualified consultants to address a specific business need. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis until all funding is exhausted.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Business Navigator program? 

Dublin-based businesses with physical locations are eligible if they: 

    Possess a valid City of Dublin Business License 

    Are in good standing with the City

    Are not a corporately owned chain/franchise store and

    Have less than 50 full-time employees

Home occupations may also be eligible for assistance with transitioning from a home-based business to a brick-and-mortar location. 

What types of assistance do the Business Navigators provide?  

The Business Navigators offer one-on-one technical assistance for a specific business need. Examples of topics for one-on-one assistance include: 

    Business planning 

    Architecture and space planning 

    Financial guidance

    Human resources/employment matters

    Strategic marketing and advertising

What types of items can I get assistance with? 

The assistance is project-based (e.g. logo design, business plan revision, website development, marketing plan strategy development, etc.) with a specific scope and timeframe. It is not intended to provide ongoing support such as paying for Google Ads or maintaining a website. 

How were Business Navigators selected?    

The Office of Economic Development selected third-party partners for this program through a competitive Request for Proposals process in early 2022.    

Is there a cost for services provided through the Business Navigator Program?   

No, eligible applicants receive the services at no cost.

How are applicants assigned to a Business Navigator?  

The Office of Economic Development will assign a Business Navigator based on the applicant’s needs noted during the registration process and the discovery call.

What are the next steps after I submit my application?   

City staff will schedule a discovery meeting with you to learn more about your business need. After the meeting, the Office of Economic Development will work on matching you with a Business Navigator if you are deemed eligible for the program. Once a match has been identified, you will be notified, and the assigned Business Navigator will reach out within the next three business days to set up your next meeting.

Can I apply for help with more than one business need? Is there a maximum number of times I can request?   

Yes. There is a maximum limit of three uses, with a total cap of $7,500 across all projects.

What if I want to continue working with the consultant I was assigned to? 

If you wish to continue working with the consultant you were initially assigned to, you have a couple of options. Firstly, if you haven't reached your three project maximum, you can submit an additional project request to work with the same consultant. Alternatively, you may choose to work with the consultant outside of the program and cover the costs independently.

What is required of me? 

Applicants are expected to: 

  • Identity need for technical assistance
  • Complete the assistance request form
  • Agree to program terms and conditions
  • Participate in a discovery meeting with City staff
  • Be responsive to the consultant
  • Complete requests from the consultant
  • Complete a post-consultation survey