A Message From Gina M. Raimondo Investing in Small Business

Raimondo HeaderGovernor Gina M. Raimondo

Local businesses are the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island is home to over 22,000 small businesses, which represent over 80 percent of Rhode Island’s employers.

I often say that everyone has a part to play in Rhode Island’s comeback- and for no one is that more true than for small business owners and employees. Our state can’t succeed unless we’re supporting our local businesses and enabling them to thrive.

That’s why I was so excited last month to announce our new partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation are committing $10 million in capital and philanthropic support to help create jobs and generate economic growth in local small businesses. This marks the first statewide launch for the program.

“I often say that everyone has a part to play in Rhode Island’s comeback- and for no one is that more true than for small business owners and employees.”

Businesses participating in this initiative will have access to a free practical business education through which they will develop a business growth plan to help them increase revenues and hire new employees. Business advising and networking will be offered to participating small business owners through partnerships with community-based and national business organizations, as well as the people of Goldman Sachs. And, Goldman Sachs is committing lending capital to support the small businesses community in Rhode Island.

Program partners will work with local organizations to encourage small businesses to apply for the education and/or capital programs and to provide business advising and design expertise to participants. Eligible small businesses should have annual revenues above $100,000, been in operation for at least two years, employ at least two full-time workers and have a desire to grow and create jobs.

This is a proven model for unlocking the growth and job-creation potential of small businesses. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has reached over 6,000 small businesses across the U.S. and U.K. In the first 6 months after graduating, 67 percent of participants report increased revenues and 46 percent report creating net new jobs.

Applications for the education component of the program are now being accepted and can be downloaded at https://www.10ksbapply.com/. Classes are free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process. For information about the loan application process, please contact BDC Capital directly. Application for loans is independent and separate from application and acceptance into the education program.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this valuable opportunity.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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