Goldman Sachs Bails Out Small Businesses


Goldman Sachs' (Stock Quote: GS) new 10,000 Small Businesses plan will launch in early 2010, using New York as a pilot program.

The $500 million initiative will spend $200 million on education, and the rest on capital in the form of loans and grants to Community Development Financial Institutions.

“Small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in America’s economy,” said Dina Habib Powell, managing director and Global Head of Corporate Engagement. 10,000 Small Businesses is designed to provide business owners with the combination of capital, education and mentoring and networking resources businesses need to overcome barriers and grow.

Dina Powell, also the head of Goldman’s 10,000 Women initiative, will head up the program along with an advisory board co-chaired by CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Warren Buffett and Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. In New York, the program has partnered with Seedco and LaGuardia Community College to implement the capital and education components of the plan.

As the plan kicks off in New York in 2010, the company expects to announce more local partners around the country within the same time frame. The company will also be encouraging its employees to form mentorship relationships with small businesses.

While a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said the businesses will likely primarily be chosen through the local partners, small business owners can visit the Goldman Sachs Web site or e-mail to learn more.

To be eligible, a business must have revenues between $150,000 and $4 million in the most recent fiscal year, have at least four full-time employees, have been in business for at least two years, have a business model that could scale to create more jobs, and function predominantly in underserved markets.

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