Written by Amanda Maher
For over two decades, urban businesses have been the primary vehicle to achieve ICIC’s mission on the ground. We believe that business growth is essential to inner city economies and we work to identify and provide the support that urban businesses need to grow their companies and their local economies. As we kick off Small Business Week, celebrated the first week of May each year, we’re reminded of the impact small businesses have on our communities. For instance:
Simply, small businesses are crucial to the American economy.
Nowhere is this more evident than in our inner cities. While many people tend to think of small businesses as small, locally-owned “mom and pop” stores, they represent much more than that. According to ICIC’s data, the average inner city firm employs 19 people (25 percent higher than the U.S. average), and inner city companies encompass diverse industries from IT to food production, from social service providers to manufacturing.
Research shows that supporting the growth of inner city businesses is an effective strategy for increasing inner city employment and ultimately, reducing poverty. Education, capital access and networking are particularly valuable in helping inner city businesses grow and succeed. Yet many small businesses don’t receive the support they need to do just that.
Through our urban business initiatives, ICIC helps to address these needs:
While ICIC’s programs offer valuable resources and technical assistance, there is more work to be done. It’s about time we “level the playing field for small businesses,” Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, told USA Today.
This Small Business Week, the numbers show that small businesses have a big economic impact – one that ICIC’s urban business initiatives can help to amplify. And this week, ICIC will continue our effort in guiding businesses along a path to growth – from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to the Inner City 100 – an effort that continues each of the 52 weeks per year.
Apply for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at https://10ksbapply.com/. The deadline for the Fall 2016 National Cohort is May 10!
Inner City Capital Connections is accepting applications for its 2016 programs in cities across the U.S. Learn more and nominate a company or apply