Goldman Sachs is committing $20 million to support the Philadelphia region’s small businesses, the Nutter administration announced yesterday in a press release. As part of its national 10,000 Small Businesses campaign, which is already in 10 other cities, Goldman Sachs will partner with the City of Philadelphia to educate and fund entrepreneurs. Some, though, question the tangible impact of the program. [Updated, see below]
The breakdown of the funding looks like this, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
- $10 million would be used for loans to small businesses in the city, made through the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp (PIDC).
- An additional $5 million over five years would be used to provide free classroom education to selected business owners through Community College of Philadelphia.
- Another $5 million would go to Lancaster-based Community First Fund to make small-business loans in the 13 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania it serves, including Chester and Montgomery Counties.
Businesses in Philadelphia proper, apply for a loan here (applications are accepted on a rolling basis). Businesses in Chester and Montgomery counties should contact the Community First Fund, as an online application is not yet available on the fund’s site.
According to PIDC, in order to be eligible for a loan, you must:
- Employ at least four employees
- Have revenues between $150,000 and $4 million
- Have been in operation for at least two years
- Are located or plan to locate in the City of Philadelphia
“Priority [will be] given to businesses that are located in a low to moderate income census tract or primarily employ low to moderate income individuals,” according to PIDC’s site.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Goldman Sachs would not release numbers on certain outcomes, like the number of jobs the program created and where they were. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman did say that “70 percent percent of the graduates increased their revenue within six months of graduation and 50 percent added new jobs.”
Updated 1/11/13 2:49 p.m. to add more context about critiques of the program.-30-