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National Restaurant Association - NRA collaborates with Goldman Sachs on "10,000 Small Businesses" program

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NRA collaborates with Goldman Sachs on "10,000 Small Businesses" program

If you own a small restaurant company and are ready to grow, Goldman Sachs wants you.

The National Restaurant Association is collaborating with Goldman Sachs on the investment banking firm's "10,000 Small Businesses" program, which is scouting out 10,000 promising small business owners for help with business training, networking and capital access.

Goldman Sachs and The Goldman Sachs Foundation are investing $500 million in the program aimed at helping qualified small businesses grow and create jobs.

Small-business owners who apply for and win spots in the program receive a no-cost accelerated advanced business curriculum. "Students receive a practical education that focuses on skills they can apply immediately, including accounting, marketing and human resources management," says Bruce Heyman, managing director, Goldman Sachs. Training is delivered through community colleges and business schools.

Heyman will appear next month at the NRA Show in Chicago in an education session about the program. The May 7 session runs from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT, and will feature two of the "10,000 Small Businesses" participants -- business owners Mel Davis, The Breakfast Klub, Houston, and Danielle Hrzic, Gourmet Gorilla, Chicago -- along with Don Laackman, the president of Chicago's Harold Washington Community College. The college is one of the local schools Goldman Sachs has partnered with to deliver the training to small business owners.

Business owners can apply for the program online. Targeted businesses include, but are not limited to, companies that meet the following criteria: have business revenues of $150,000 to $4 million a year, have been open for two or more years, have at least four full-time employees, operate in economically disadvantaged areas, and have a business model that's ready to scale up to create more jobs.

Businesses accepted into the program must show they're committed to growing their businesses and creating jobs in their communities.

The program operates in six cities so far -- Chicago, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and New York -- with plans to expand.

About $200 million of the program's funding goes to scholarships and program partners, including the schools who help deliver the training. The program also will fund about $300 million in lending and philanthropic support to Community Development Financial Institutions. CDFIs have the goal of expanding the capacity of financial institutions to provide credit, capital and financial services to underserved populations.

To apply for the program, visit Goldman Sachs. To learn more about the NRA Show and the May 7 educational session, visit www.restaurant.org/show. NRA Show 2012 runs from May 5 to May 8, and includes more than 70 educational sessions.

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