Cleveland: Mayor announces '10,000 Small Businesses' initiative

7:35 PM, May 8, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Tuesday morning, Mayor Frank Jackson announced a partnership between the city, Cuyahoga Community College and Goldman Sachs for a "10,000 Small Businesses" intiative to help Cleveland-area small businesses gain crucial education, business support services and access to capital.

Goldman Sachs and their foundations are commiting $15 million to the Cleveland-area initiative.

Gwenay Coniglio co-owns a small construction management firm. She is interested in what the program may have to offer her business.

"There is a need for this type of program. We need education and money to grow our businesses," she said.

Four years ago, Mayor Jackson was suing Goldman Sachs and 20 other banks and investment firms alleging they were to blame for the devastating impact of foreclosures in Cleveland. The city lost that lawsuit.

The mayor said, "I see them separately.  That was then. This is now. This is a business practice that is postive for Cleveland."

Cleveland Councilman Anthony Brancatelli represents Slavic Village, an epicenter of foreclosure . Brancatelli welcomed the investment, but said, " I feel like it's guilt money."

Asked about the perception by some that the program is also about refurbishing Goldman Sachs damaged reputation, Dina Habib Powell of the Goldman Sachs Foundation said, " Look at the results. talk to the mayors and other community college presidents to see how it's worked,"

The program is in six other cities. 

Tri-C President Jerry Sue Thornton said, " 75 percent of graduates increase their revenue six months after graduation."

Steve Millard of the Council of Small Enterprises said," It's very hard now for small businesses to get capital. This program will help a company be more bankable."

"Cleveland has all of the components we look for in a partner for 10,000 Small Businesses: economic need, strong local partners and a scalable small business sector," said Gary Cohn, president/CEO of Goldman Sachs.

"The city has a significant appetite for entrepreneurial education and access to capital and has local leaders dedicated to supporting small business growth and job creation."

This is part of a larger Goldman Sachs project.

The overall Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative is a $500 million program nationwide that aims to unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services.

The program is already now operating in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Beach, New Orleans and Houston and will continue to expand to communities across the country. Cleveland was next in line.

Tri-C is leading the business and management education program for 10,000 Small Businesses in Cleveland and is also working with local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital program components.

The curriculum will be tailored to meet the needs of Cleveland business owners.

Applications are now live on the Tri-C website

Small business owners are encouraged to apply immediately as the program will begin in September 2012

Other partners involved in the program will include the Council of Smaller Enterprises, JumpStart, Inc., the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland.

These partners will help with the recruitment of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Greater Cleveland area and will assist in providing outreach and business support services

Jackson said, "For the past several years, our office of Economic Development has worked to help small and medium size businesses become successful."

"This partnership with Tri-C and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses aligns with Cleveland's focus on helping small businesses, including minority and women owned businesses, become better positioned to create economic growth and jobs."

Tri-C is leading the business and management education program for 10,000 Small Businesses in Cleveland and is also working with local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital program components.

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative will offer:

  • Business and Management Education: Small business owners will have access to a practical business education delivered in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College, Ohio's oldest and largest public community college providing high quality, affordable education and programs to students in Cleveland. Small business owners will develop a business growth plan to help them increase revenues and hire new employees.


  • Classes will be free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process. Applications are currently available online. Classes will begin in September 2012.


  • Access to Capital: Goldman Sachs is committing $5 million in grant funding for program partners and $10 million of lending capital to greater Cleveland area small businesses. The loans will be managed and distributed by a network of local community-based partners.


  • Business Support Services: Business advice, technical assistance and networking will be offered to participating small business owners through partnerships with the community colleges and national and local business organizations, as well as the people of Goldman Sachs.


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