Providence, SBA extend small business assistance partnership
PROVIDENCE MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS signs a new agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration to facilitate assistance on a range of topics to enterprises based in the city. Under terms of the previous agreement, which began in May 2012, the SBA, the Center for Women and Enterprise, and SCORE engaged about 150 business owners in 12 workshops. Attending the signing event at Providence's G-form LLC, are, seated from left, Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA's Rhode Island office, Carmen Diaz-Jusino, program manager for the Center for Women and Enterprise, Taveras, and George Hemond, chair of the Joseph G.E. Knight SCORE chapter. Standing, from left, are James Bennett, Providence director of economic development, Laurie White, president of the Greater Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, and Meghan Downing, assistant to the CEO at G-Form.
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the city of Providence renewed a partnership that encourages economic development by assisting businesses on issues such as strategic planning, accessing capital and securing government contracts, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced Wednesday. A ceremony spotlighting the project renewal was held at G-Form LLC, one of the city’s successful startups, located in the developing Knowledge District.
The partnership, which also includes the Center for Women and Enterprise, and SCORE, worked with about 150 business owners in 12 workshops since it began in May 2012. The new agreement is for all of 2014.
“There is a correlation between the partnership and business development in Providence,” said Mark S. Hayward, district director of the SBA office in Rhode Island. “The SBA guaranteed 34 loans for $5.1 million in the city of Providence during fiscal year 2013, and I know there were people in my workshop on finance who ended up getting loans to grow their businesses.”
The project worked with startups and existing business owners on topics including developing social media and examining the potential advantages of HUB zone and Enterprise Zone certifications.
“The participants in the workshops covered a wide range of businesses, from manufacturing to a small bodega, or grocery store, on the west side of Providence,” said Hayward.
The partnership worked with existing resources of the collaborating organizations and pro bono seminar leadership by bankers and others in the business community, said Hayward.
“For the past two years, it has been a partnership that has yielded outstanding results and has helped small businesses gain access to resources and information they need at all levels of government,” said Hayward.
The renewed partnership will host additional workshops beginning in February on topics that include access to working capital, and strategies to prevent loss and grow the bottom line.
“I am very excited to continue our partnership with the city of Providence to provide local business owners with the technical assistance they need to grow their businesses and create jobs to contribute to the strength of the state’s economy,” said Carmen Diaz-Jusino, senior program director of the Center for Women and Enterprise, in a press release from the mayor’s office.