DESA, Inc. named as “spoke” organization in SBA Community Navigator Program for South Carolina

February 28, 2022

DESA, Inc. has been named to serve as one of eight participating “spoke” organizations in South Carolina for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP). South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) received a $2.5 million to serve as the “hub” organization in the South Carolina CNPP, deploying the grant among the eight “spokes” to provide support services for underserved entrepreneurs. The grant, awarded to 51 “hubs” nationally, is part of a $100 million initiative to help reduce the barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs face in accessing the programs and services that they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses.

Structured as a “Hub and Spoke” model, the program will utilize networks and community advocates to assist historically underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs to better connect to the critical resources needed to launch, pivot, and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. As one of the eight (8) spoke organizations in South Carolina, DESA will work to bridge the resource gap and support small business growth by providing specialized services for companies in the AEC industry. This includes architecture, engineering, construction, and all supporting trades and service groups.

“We are excited to be a part of this SBA/SCACED team,” Diane E. Sumpter, president and CEO of DESA says. “This program will allow us to continue strategically supporting and developing businesses.”

Diane E. Sumpter

The South Carolina CNPP will also help ensure that small and micro-businesses receive support and access to federal relief programs in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that can help them recover, grow, and thrive. Funding will also be used to increase and strengthen collaborative efforts to better leverage neighborhood reach, language barriers, cultural competencies, and industry experts for small businesses in various business lifecycle stages.

“The profound needs of small business owners are being felt more than ever before. As we enter this phase of recover, it is imperative that we reach every small business owner, from the disabled veteran entrepreneur in New York City to the rural farmer in Missouri,” said Mark Madrid, Association Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “The historic Community Navigator Program catalyzes trusted community partners across America to support the smallest-of-small businesses at this pivotal juncture. These champions’ grassroots efforts will materially advance equity in the support of small businesses by connecting small business owners with programs and resources that they need to start and grow their business.”

The funding will also allow DESA to provide counseling, training, and access to resources to enhance small business growth and invest in systems for increased community engagement and comprehensive services for small business owners.

To learn more about the Community Navigator Pilot Program, please visit


About DESA, Inc.

Founded by Diane E. Sumpter in 1986, DESA, Inc. has been exceeding client expectations for more than 35 years. The company is a certified small, woman and minority-owned firm, offering services through four different divisions: Engineering Services Professional, Administrative & Communication Services; and Business Services. Local and national clients include city, county, state and federal governments, non-profit agencies, and private sector organizations. Complete information on DESA can be found by visiting