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    Small Business Initiative - Partner Funding


    The City has provided funds to our financial partners to further our goals for providing capital to small businesses that do not meet the traditional form of bank financing criteria. Our partners include: Economic & Community Development Institute (“ECDI”), Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen, Start Mart, Grow Cuyahoga Fund, and Bad Girl Ventures. In addition, the City has partnered with other organizations with providing gap financing and / or technical assistance to entrepreneurs needing funding for their projects. These other partners include: Growth Capital Corporation, Small Business Administration, Urban League, 10,000 Small Businesses and the Hispanic Business Center. These organizations not only leveraged capital needed for financing, but often provided technical assistance and training for start-up and existing small businesses. To learn more about our other partners not listed below please read about them here.

    Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)

    In 2012, the Economic and Community Development Institute was recruited to Cleveland after a study of credit availability found that there is an estimated $38 million of unmet loan demand annually in Cuyahoga County. The Economic and Community Development Institute ("ECDI"), a U.S. Treasury designated CDFI micro lender headquartered in Columbus, is a non-profit organization providing micro lending and technical assistance. The City provided $200,000 to ECDI to structure microloans to small businesses in Cleveland that would not be eligible for traditional bank funding. A portion of the funding ($50,000) is specifically geared toward immigrant and refugee businesses. ECDI’s lending efforts in 2015 have resulted in the following:

    • 82 loans to small businesses; 22 in the City of Cleveland

    •  $1,731,005 of capital investment, $850,600 to Cleveland-based businesses

    • 50 loans to female-owned businesses, 14 in the City of Cleveland

    • 42 loans to minority-owned businesses, 15 in the City of Cleveland

    • 6 loans for immigrant / refugee businesses, 4 in the City of Cleveland.

    • 118 jobs created, 51.5 in the City of Cleveland.

    • 138.5 jobs retained, 56 in the City of Cleveland

    • 40 entrepreneurs received technical assistance, 3 in the Food Incubator Program.

    Grow Cuyahoga County Fund

    The Grow Cuyahoga County Fund is a partnership between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Grow America Fund, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Development Council. The partnership works to identify small business with potential to grow and create jobs. The Fund provides loans from $100,000 to $3.4 million at or below market rates with longer loan terms, up to 25 years. In 2015, Grow Cuyahoga County Funded approved 4 loans to 4 businesses for a total of $1,107,000. Two of the businesses were located in the City of Cleveland and included Undercar Express LLC; and AMLCO Group LLC. The loans leveraged $850,000 of additional funds creating 10 new FTE jobs and retaining 90 FTE in the City of Cleveland. City funds leverage a minimum of $5 for every $1 in City loan funds for City businesses.

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an educational program for small businesses. Through the program, business owners gain skills in negotiation, marketing, management, and they receive customized growth plans to take their businesses to the next level. The program also partners with Community Development Financial Institutions to provide access to capital. 10,000 Small Businesses is administered through Cuyahoga Community College and has completed 10 cohorts since 2013, their first year in Cleveland. In 2015, a total of 94 businesses, including 40 female-owned and14 minority owned businesses, graduated from the program. 10,000 Small Businesses completed 3 cohorts in 2015.