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Inner-City Businesses Get Chance to Meet Potential Backers

Small-business owners in underfunded urban areas will get a chance to meet with potential lenders this fall at two events, to be held in New York and Los Angeles.

The Small Business Administration has teamed with the nonprofit group Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and with Bank of America to help advance inner-city small-business growth. The two events are part of their Inner City Capital Connections program.

The events will match qualified business owners with banks, asset-based lenders, venture capitalists, private equity firms , merchant banks and angel investors.

The matchmaking events are scheduled for Oct. 12 in New York and Nov. 15-16 in Los Angeles. Training days, meant to prepare participants for making the most of the day, will be held prior to the events.

More than 75 companies in the technology, business services and manufacturing industries participated in the program last year.

“Our goal is to choose 100 inner-city businesses this year,” Hyacinth Vassell, program manager for event, told BusinessNewsDaily.

To be eligible for the program, a company must be headquartered in an economically distressed urban area or have at least 51 percent of its physical operation there. It also must be a for-profit corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship with revenues of more than $2 million in 2009.

To be considered for participation, companies must fill out the nomination form.  Once  the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City determines that a company meets the program requirements, the company will be further screened, Vassell said.

Business owners who are chosen are encouraged to bring copies of their executive summary and investor pitch, Vassell said.

Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.