“Lead, survive and thrive is the message we’re conveying to our small-business partners right now,” said Steve Grossman.
Grossman is CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a nonprofit that works with small businesses across the U.S. For over 25 years, there’s been one key goal: to drive economic prosperity in America’s urban areas.
Now, that goal is amplified by one urgent need: to help small businesses survive the impacts of the coronavirus.
“We’re in regular contact with graduates, sharing resources to help them with accessing cash flow and securing the technical support they need,” Grossman said.
By graduates, he means business owners who’ve come through the ICIC’s Inner City Capital Connections program (ICCC) that his nonprofit administers several times a year. Through ICCC, qualified entrepreneurs receive tuition-free training from nationally recognized business educators and industry experts. Regions is a longtime community partner with ICCC, providing financial backing for training opportunities in Houston, St. Louis, Tampa, Atlanta, Birmingham and Memphis in recent years.
Grossman and the ICCC team stay in touch with entrepreneurs long after each training event – and that constant contact is especially valuable right now.
The team is currently providing guidance through the new Small Business Resource Center on the ICIC website. Not only is this tool available to ICCC alumni, it’s available to any small business. The center provides access to national, regional and, in some cases, even local resources related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Beyond the resource center, ICCC personnel remain accessible for customized insights whenever possible.
There’s never been a more important time to connect business owners to information – not only for their companies, but also for themselves.
Steve Grossman, CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
“There’s never been a more important time to connect business owners to information – not only for their companies, but also for themselves,” said Grossman. “There are so many valuable resources out there. We want to communicate what’s available to as many people as possible.”
That available information includes details on emergency loan assistance, additional financial support resources and even online options for entrepreneurs to set up gift card purchases. ICCC is also working on new webinars to address critical cash flow needs and related challenges amid COVID-19.
“ICIC has been educating and empowering small-business owners for over two decades,” said Leroy Abrahams, head of Community Affairs for Regions Bank. “While they’ve made an impactful difference over that time, perhaps one of the most important differences they can make will be in the weeks and months to come. Regions is proud to serve as a community partner with ICCC, and we’ll continue to work with them to develop relevant and timely content addressing the needs of businesses recovering from these unprecedented challenges.”
It’s certainly not business as usual right now. But thanks to ICIC’s ICCC program and resources, it can be a time when small-business owners are reminded of how there are community partners who care about them – and their livelihood.
“Through the Small Business Resource Center, we can bring resources to business owners at a time when they need them the most,” Grossman said. “Our goal is to get through this – together.”
The Small Business Resource Center is available at this link.