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The U.S. SBA Teams up with ICIC, Bank of America and FORTUNE to Help Inner City Entrepreneurs Access Capital

By   /   October 4, 2012  /   Comments

Special to the Journal

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Bank of America, FORTUNE and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) announced today that they have joined together to advance inner city small business growth by supporting the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. ICCC educates investment-ready urban companies about sources of growth capital and matches them with potential investors. The eighth annual ICCC capital training workshop will be held in Detroit on Wednesday, October 24th and will include educational sessions about different forms of capital, including angel investments, venture capital, bank, lines of credit, and factoring. Entrepreneurs will receive mentoring services on how to effectively communicate with investors. Entrepreneur participants will then have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to bankers and investors at the ICCC National Matching Day, to be held in New York City on Friday, November 9th. ICCC is free for companies that qualify for the program.

The deadline for applications is October 19, 2012. Eligible companies must be: headquartered in or have 51% 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 2011 or have 40% of their employees located in an economically distressed urban area. More than 1,500 companies were nominated for last year’s ICCC program, with 171 accepted from various industries including technology, business services and manufacturing. This year, ICCC hopes to select 180 investment-ready companies for participation. Companies may apply for the program online.

“Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America.  And small businesses located in America’s urban cores are central to the economic vitality of the country,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Supporting urban entrepreneurs’ access growth capital is a key component of SBA’s mission and essential to helping small businesses create an economy built to last.”

“Facilitating the connection between capital providers and investment-ready businesses helps to accelerate job and economic growth for both small businesses and the markets they serve,” explained Ed Powers, BAML Capital Access Funds Director.

To be eligible for the program, companies must be: headquartered in or have 51% 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 2011 or have 40% of their employees located in an economically distressed urban area. More than 1,500 companies were nominated for last year’s ICCC program, with 171 accepted from various industries including technology, business services and manufacturing. This year, ICCC hopes to select 180 investment-ready companies for participation.

“There is a lack of capital availability in America’s inner cities,” stated Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC President and CEO. “In fact, 71 percent of inner city businesses have only a quarter of the capital needed to compete in their industries. For many urban entrepreneurs, ICCC helps open the door to a network of financial options that they had limited or no access to previously.”

Since the launch of the ICCC program in 2005, participating companies have raised more than $406 million in capital and experienced a compound growth rate of 23%. In addition, ICCC companies have created or helped to create 2,790 jobs and on average hire 38% of their workforce from within the inner city. Click here to learn more about ICCC.

About U.S. Small Business Administration: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. SBA recognizes that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. www.sba.gov. Disclaimer: SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Co-sponsorship Authorization #12-7050-132

About ICIC: The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC expands inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. ICIC’s unique knowledge and expertise about inner city success factors and thriving companies is developed from specialized urban networks and path-breaking research. www.icic.org

About Bank of America: Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 56 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,600 retail banking offices and approximately 16,200 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.

About FORTUNE: FORTUNE is a global leader in business journalism with a domestic print and tablet circulation of over 845,000 and a global readership of nearly 5 million. The brand is known for major editorial franchises such as the FORTUNE 500 and the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. FORTUNE Live Media extends the brand’s mission into live events, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women and the FORTUNE Global Forum. FORTUNE publishes English-language editions in Europe and Asia, and local-language editions in United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, China, Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia and India. CNNMoney.com, which draws more than 14.6 million readers a month, is the online home of FORTUNE.com.

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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