Utah, Goldman Sachs, SLCC launch small-business initiative

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 2:50 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Small businesses in Utah could get an infusion of educational and financial capital under a new program being launched next year.

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative is a partnership between Salt Lake Community College, the state of Utah and the Goldman Sachs Foundation “to help create jobs and economic growth by providing small businesses in the area with practical business education, business support services and access to capital.”

The global investment bank and its foundation are committing $15 million to the program in Utah. The announcement was made Wednesday.

The initiative is a $500 million program targeting economic 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, according to a news release.

The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesse, the release stated.

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

The program targets small businesses that have been in operation for at least two years, employ at least four people, with revenues from $150,000 to $4 million, and that are looking to grow and hire more workers.

“We look for small business communities that have the opportunity to grow,” said Esta Stecher, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

“Goldman Sachs maintains its second largest campus in North America in Salt Lake City, and we see the importance of a strong, vibrant business community,” she said. “We have witnessed first hand the dedication of local leaders to supporting businesses of all sizes in the area, and this is one reason we think 10,000 Small Businesses will be successful in Utah.”

Regarding the long-term goal of the program, Stecher said, "What we really hope to see is job creation ... that they've grown their revenues, contributed to the tax base, and are employing a lot more people."

Salt Lake Community College’s School of Professional and Economic Development will deliver the education portion of the program. SLCC will also work with local partners to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital program components.

The program begins in January 2013. Applications can be downloaded at www.slcc.edu/10ksb.

“For five years, we have been guaranteed funding by Goldman Sachs (to help Utah small business owners.)” said SLCC President Cynthia Bioteau. “Supporting the advancement of their careers and businesses is key to our workforce development goals and fits intimately with the goals and curriculum of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.”

She said the initiative will offer business and management advice where small business owners will learn how to develop a growth plan to help them increase revenues and hire new employees. Classes — or cohorts — comprised of 30-35 participants will be free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process. Each cohort will meet twice monthly for five to six months.

Participants will also have access to capital with Goldman Sachs committing $10 million to Utah small businesses, with loans originated though local lending partners.

Additionally, the program will offer business support services with advice, technical assistance and networking provided to participating small business owners through partnerships with SLCC, community-based partners, national business organizations, as well as representatives of Goldman Sachs.

“As the number of small businesses in Utah has increased steadily for the past decade, we know that the success of the local economy depends on helping these businesses grow and create jobs,” said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. “Our partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will give business owners the support they need to achieve this growth.”

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com, Twitter: JasenLee1

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