Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein today at a reception celebrating the alumni of the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” initiative, which supports Chicago’s small business entrepreneurs by providing access to practical business education, business support services, and capital. Chicago has been a part of the program since September 2011.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Chicago’s economy and the key to our city’s future economic success,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am proud that Chicago’s partnership with the 10,000 Small Businesses program is providing small businesses access to the resources they need to grow and thrive.”
The reception was the first gathering of all 8 of Chicago’s graduated cohorts and was hosted at La Taberna Tapas, a small business owned by program graduate Alex Cabrera. The reception celebrated the hard work of the Chicago graduates of the program and awarded those who had achieved exceptional growth.
“We’re proud that almost 230 scholars have already graduated from 10,000 Small Businesses in Chicago and are growing their businesses and creating jobs,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We thank Mayor Emanuel and our partners on the ground in Chicago for their support in continuing to help small businesses grow.”
Goldman Sachs and the City partnered to bring the 10,000 Small Businesses program to Chicago in 2011 and the first business education classes were held in January 2012. Goldman Sachs has committed a combined $20 million in grants to support business education and in capital to support Chicago area small businesses.
The business and management education program is delivered through City Colleges of Chicago with the support of local institutions that recruit small business owners to apply for the program and provide participants with technical assistance and clinics. These partner institutions include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Urban League, IFF, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, SomerCor 504, Inc., and Women’s Business Development Center.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program aimed at unlocking 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 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 businesses. The program maintains a 99% graduate rate.
Mayor Emanuel continues to support Chicago’s small businesses and their economic development across the city’s neighborhoods. In 2013, City Hall opened the Small Business Center, streamlining permit and licensing reviews. Small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout Chicago now have a “one-stop-shop” and dedicated staff working with them every step of the way to encourage their success.
Applications for the education component of the program are accepted on a rolling basis and can be downloaded at http://www.ccc.edu/10ksb.