By Steven Piper
Salon owner Andrew Kripp is stepping closer to his dream of having three salon locations in Long Beach, thanks to incoming funds from a $500-million, nationwide, five-year initiative launched by Goldman Sachs called “10,000 Small Businesses.” The investment banking and securities firm modeled the program after its “10,000 Women,” a five-year investment to provide that number of underserved women around the world with an education in business and management.
If Kripp’s application, which he is in the process of filling out, is accepted, the small-business owner could be eligible for any amount of money between $50,000 and $400,000, which would be withdrawn from a pool of $20 million that is earmarked for the Long Beach and Los Angeles metropolitan area.
According to Sheneui Weber, regional state director of the Small Business Development Center, the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) will disburse the money to viable applicants. “We will identify people that need a loan while business advisors put loan packages together,” Weber said, during a press conference Wednesday morning at Kripp’s business, The Den Barber Salon in downtown Long Beach. “The bottom line is if they (business owners) need capital, then we will help them find it.”
Long Beach City College (LBCC), in addition to Los Angeles City College, has partnered with Goldman Sachs to provide the curriculum for applicants that fit the criteria of the program. Each must have been in business for at least two years, have four employees, and generate an annual income between $150,000 and $4 million. Each of the two sites will be looking for 30 participants.
“The Long Beach Community College District is thrilled and honored to have been selected as a partner with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative,” said LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “Our college is committed to economic development, and we are ready through this new partnership to further assist our local small businesses.”
The deadline to apply for the funds is Tuesday, July 6 at 5pm. Applications can be found on LBCC’s website.
After completing the educational portion provided by LBCC, which will run from August 20 until December 4, owners should have a customized growth plan, completed 11 business entrepreneurship training sessions, and implemented business advisory services that explain how to apply the growth plan.
During the press conference, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said it takes a wise business plan and access to capital to make a thriving enterprise. “The hardest thing about being a small-business owner is growing beyond a certain point,” Foster said. “You have to ask questions about the future and be aware of targeting your markets.” The mayor said the average small-business owner, always busy with daily operations of their trade, does not have time to consider such dynamics.
The “10,000 Small Businesses” program is currently operating in New York, and Goldman Sachs plans to expand the operation across the country.