Warren Buffet, Goldman Sachs to Invest $20M in Metro Detroit

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Goldman Sachs will invest $20 million in metro Detroit as part of its 10,000 Small Businesses Program, it was announced today at Ford Field. Detroit is the 17th city to join the program, which provides small business owners with a variety of tools to grow their operations, including capital, mentorships, education, and networking.

“I have a real love of this city,” said Warren Buffett, co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses advisory council, during the news conference. “The potential is huge. The United States with a flourishing Detroit is going to be a lot better than the United States without one.”

As part of the initiative, accepted small business owners receive more than 100 hours of intensive training and advice through education partners including Wayne State University, Macomb Community College, and Oakland Community College. Organizations like Midtown Detroit, TechTown, and Eastern Market will be key partners in helping with the recruitment of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Detroit and providing outreach and business support services.

“We would not be investing here if we didn’t believe that Detroit has a bright future and the ingredients to accomplish that bright future,” said Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We have the leadership, the initiative, the people, and yes, the small businesses, to compete and to succeed.”

Goldman Sachs plans to provide funding to the Invest Detroit Foundation and the Detroit Development Fund, which will use the capital to make loans to small business owners. The Invest Detroit Foundation will focus its lending to businesses in the core of downtown Detroit, while the Detroit Development Fund will focus its lending citywide. 

During the announcement of the launch, Major Dave Bing noted that, “Detroit has gone through some very difficult times,” adding that the Small Business Program “is sorely needed in this city.”

The program will begin in March 2014. Applications for the education component of the program are now being accepted and are due on or before January 6, 2014. It can be downloaded at 10ksbdetroit.com.

Classes are free to business owners accepted through a competitive application process. The access to capital component is expected to be finalized by March 2014.

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