Organizations partner to spur inner-city growth

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Bank of America announced they will work together to advance inner city small business growth by supporting the Inner City Capital Connections program.

ICIC, which educates investment-ready inner city companies about equity and other sources of growth capital and matches them with potential investors, will hold its sixth annual ICCC investment capital matchmaking program in Los Angeles Nov. 15-16. The event will feature a full-day matchmaking session with potential investors, along with workshops and assessments of investment potentials. Preparation sessions for inner city businesses from around the country that plan to take part in the event will take place Oct. 11 in New York and Oct. 27 in Los Angeles.

To be eligible for the program, companies must be headquartered in or have 51 percent or more of a physical operations presence in an economically distressed urban area and be a for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship with revenues of more than $2 million in 2009. More than 75 companies, in various industries ranging from technology, business services and manufacturing, participated in the program last year.

“Access to capital is critical to small business growth and job creation in America’s inner cities,” said SBA administrator Karen Mills. “Supporting these entrepreneurs is at the core of SBA’s mission and an essential component of keeping our economy moving in the right direction.”

“ICCC opens the door to a network of financial options that these firms had limited or no access to previously,” said Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC president and CEO. “For many inner city entrepreneurs, the executive education around the options that exist for growth capital is as important as the investments their companies may ultimately receive.”

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