Texas Business reports: Citi Community Development and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GDHCC) will open the Small Business Center of Excellence, which will serve the low-to-moderate income business community of Greater Dallas.
Citi and Citi Community Development are supporting this initiative with a three-year, $480,000 commitment. As a first step in this initiative, the GDHCC will launch a comprehensive “needs assessment” survey focusing on minority-owned businesses.
The center will provide capacity-building products and services — including resources, training and networking support — to minority-owned businesses, with a particular emphasis on small and medium-size business segments.
“Citi is proud to support the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Dallas business owners,” said Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit in a prepared statement. “At Citi, we are committed to putting the full force of our people and resources to work to drive financial inclusion. Through this innovative partnership, we can help even more business owners obtain the tools and resources they need to grow, succeed and create jobs.”
“The business opportunity is clear, said GDHCC chairman Angel Reyes in a statement. “The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has over 40,000 Hispanic-owned and operated businesses with a demonstrated historical growth rate of three times the national average. Couple that with a vibrant consumer base representing more than 40 percent of the general population, and you can see how the Citi Community Development and GDHCC partnership is poised to drive economic growth, job creation and retention for this fastest growing segment of the population.”
The mission of the Small Business Center of Excellence is to provide comprehensive technical assistance, consulting, and educational resources to small and medium-sized businesses of Greater Dallas, directly supporting the economic development vision of the GDHCC. This will be done by consistently delivering value-added services to facilitate the growth of successful businesses, the membership, and the business community, officials said.
In addition, the center will provide products and services that maximize the ability of GDHCC clients to access capital, locally and globally, as well as offer procurement and workforce development opportunities. Volunteer business experts from Citi will also be available to mentor local entrepreneurs and provide training on financial products and access to credit, including the development of comprehensive business packages. The center will sponsor business development and best practices sessions, where GDHCC client business owners will learn from subject matter experts and from each other.
“Many of our member businesses are well past the incubation and start-up phases,” said GDHCC chief executive David L. Gonzales in a statement. “Consequently, there is tremendous potential to develop and deliver programming initiatives specific to their current needs, given their unique stage of development. Through our new partnership with Citi, we will accelerate these businesses through their growth stages with focused skills development, consulting and coaching support, along with world-class professional development and networking sessions, so they can move to the next level, while simultaneously creating wealth and driving economic development within their communities.”
The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GDHCC) develops, promotes and protects Hispanic businesses in the greater Dallas area and supports the advancement, education and economic growth of the Hispanic business community. The chamber serves as a business resource, a forum and advocate for Hispanic business issues.
Citi, a global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.