Many small business owners in underserved communities are still struggling from the economic fallout due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need additional support to rebuild and recover.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California is partnering with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City on a virtual program that offers small businesses a tuition-free, 40 hour mini-MBA program that combines executive education, webinars, coaching, and connection to capital.
The Inner City Capital Connections program helps small businesses in underserved communities build the capacity they need to grow and create new jobs. Kaiser Permanente has partnered with the program since 2016, providing support to more than 1,700 businesses and creating more than 2,000 jobs. Of the 1,786 businesses that have participated in the program, 66% were minority-owned and 58% were owned by women.
Businesses selected to participate will complete a training and coaching program. Kaiser Permanente Northern California is sponsoring the program to support small businesses, spur job growth, and improve the health of the communities.
Pandemic hard on small business
A 2020 Health Crisis survey conducted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City found 71% of business owners experienced revenue loss, 33% laid off employees, and 90% received some type of government financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kaiser Permanente recognizes how difficult the COVID-19 pandemic has been for many of the small businesses in our communities that struggled over the past year,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “Economic opportunity is a key driver of health. Our communities must be economically vibrant to improve individuals’ health outcomes and reduce health disparities for all residents, including our members.”
Nominations due June 4; applications due June 18
Nominations are open for the first cohort of the virtual program, which will be held in July. The program is open to businesses throughout Northern California that meet program qualifications and are selected following an application process. The deadline to nominate a small business is June 4. Applications are due June 18.
The program includes an interactive, virtual, 2-day seminar series that focuses on business recovery strategies and information on capital and technical assistance resources. The program also includes webinars, one-on-one coaching with distinguished business leaders, and culminates with a conference for program graduates. Participants leave the program with the tools they need to help their businesses survive, recover, and grow.
In 2020, the program served 1,220 businesses in 17 markets with 74% identifying as minority owned and 61% as women owned.
“I would not be where I am today from a strategy and a revenue perspective if it weren’t for the fact that I was exposed to these seminars and webinars,” said Julio Ortiz, business partner for Gaspachos in Sacramento, which participated in the program in 2019. “Kaiser and ICCC are doing amazing work out in the community.”
About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)
Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a national, nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994. ICIC’s mission is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income, and wealth for residents. www.icic.org
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About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve almost 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org