Goldman Sachs announced today a plan to provide $20 million in loans for small businesses in the Los Angeles area, offering educational opportunities and business support services as part of an initiative it calls “10,000 Small Businesses.”

“Los Angeles is home to many very talented small business owners,” Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein stated. “Working with local community development financial institutions and community colleges, we aim to give selected local businesses the resources they need to grow and create jobs.”

The three-part plan targets small business owners and will also give them “access to a high quality business education,” according to a statement from the company.

The educational programs will be free of charge to business owners selected from a competitive application process. In addition to the $20 million of lending capital, philanthropic support to Community Development Financial Institutions in Los Angeles County will also be provided. The Valley Economic Development Center will be the first group in Los Angeles County to get such financing from Goldman Sachs. The financial firm is also offering technical and business advice and assistance to local organizations.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said that his “number one priority is getting the people of Los Angeles back to work,” praised the effort.

“Not only will this investment set in motion job creation at the most grassroots level, but it will have a real impact on the lives of the 70 percent of Angelenos that are employed by small businesses by granting them the opportunity to expand their entrepreneurial enterprise through education, loans, and networking,” he said.

The program targets small businesses with operations in underserved areas that have been in operation for at least two years.

Classes, scheduled to begin in August, are to be conducted through Los Angeles City College, Long Beach City College, and Los Angeles Southwest College.

LA Weekly