BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies just announced a $10 million commitment to help smaller Baltimore companies to grow.
Michael Bloomberg and Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, are helping to educate, fund, and advise small business owners in the City, in what’s called 10,000 Small Businesses in Baltimore.
This is the first ever co-investment into a program that’s aiming to boost the City’s small businesses.
“The advice I can give to all of you if you have a dream you just have to go for it now there’s a point you have to say enough its not working and go on to the next thing, but I’d stretch it out till you got to that point,” Bloomberg said.
“Say thank you for believing in Baltimore City and choosing to invest in the revitalization of our great city,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
In addition to Baltimore, the program has education sites across the country, and participants report an increase in revenue and jobs just six months after graduating.
“Baltimore did a lot, that’s the first thing. I’ve always thought you have to give back,” Bloomberg said. “I think that Baltimore represents the problems that America has. Big cities losing companies and jobs at the same time, more people are moving into them, so it’s a place that if you want to leave a better world for your kids, this is where the problems are and this is where the solutions are. It’s true for climate change, it’s true for education, its true for crime and all of these things.”
“Number one, the City has a thousand fewer cops than they did before,” Bloomberg said. “The secret to New York’s success to reducing crime was, we spend the money on having a big police force. Number two, we made sure it was diverse. Number three, we were very tough on guns.”
“It’s a small group that are killing each other. You have to get guns out of their hands, then force them into an education and create jobs for them and those kinds of things, but the first thing to do is to stop the carnage.”
“The one blessing that small businesses have is that people are in the community, at the coal face, they know what is changing they know what preferences are and what people want.”
“What we’re providing people with this 10,000 Small Business program is kind of a mini MBA, kind of an education in strategizing and working with people, applying for loans, how to assess the value of a capital investment and at the end of the day, we have the raw material because the people are terrific and what they get is confidence and they go out and hire people and expand their business,” Blankefein said.
“What distinguishes small business people around the country and Baltimore and certainly the people behind me is they are relentless in achieving their goals and collective potential.”
The program also offers practical business education as well as tools to network.
“My story like that of many of my fellow graduates is about the struggle and triumph of gaining access to resources to have a positive impact on our community” said class speaker and graduate Funlayo Alabi.
The impressive graduating class plans to re-invest in their city and reminds everyone anything is possible.
“Americans can do anything if you set your mind to it and you are looking at exhibit one and I rest my case, thank you,” said chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett.
“2020, I will be a little older, I am looking forward to the rest of 2017. I thought about running for my local block’s association president, but I don’t know if I could get elected there, so we will see,” Bloomberg said.