October 7, 2020

Program strengthens diverse small businesses in Washington

Kaiser Permanente supports Inner City Capital Connections to strengthen local small businesses through free training, coaching, and connection to capital.

Small business owner participating in Inner City Capital Connections seminar.

Contact: Melissa Putman

SEATTLE — Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington is bringing Inner City Capital Connections — an initiative designed to support small businesses led by Black and other underrepresented groups overcome systemic economic disadvantage — to Washington.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is bringing hardship to businesses in the region, hitting low-income communities of color, particularly Black communities, disproportionately hard. To prevent the widening of the health equity gap even further, Kaiser Permanente and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national nonprofit research and advisory organization, are coming together to offer an interactive 2-day virtual seminar series on November 17 and 19.

The ICCC is a 40-hour mini-MBA program that combines executive education, webinars, coaching, and connection to capital. Most recently, the curriculum was adjusted to help businesses survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The program is open to small businesses that meet program qualifications and are selected through an application process. Kaiser Permanente is funding local businesses’ participation.

“Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by a lack of economic opportunity, living under sustained financial strain that creates multiple barriers to good health,” said David Grossman, MD, senior associate medical director for Community Health and External Relations for Kaiser Permanente Washington and national senior medical director for Community Health. “Through this program we can support local business owners and help them increase their capacity and resilience and even grow their companies. By providing resources to help them navigate today’s realities, we can improve the health of our community.”

The ICCC program was created by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and has a demonstrated record of success. Between 2016 and 2018, Kaiser Permanente sponsored cohorts in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego in California, and in Baltimore, Maryland, and have supported over 1,000 businesses — creating an additional 1,361 jobs, raising $66.95 million in capital, and helping businesses achieve an average revenue growth of 45%. Of the businesses that have worked with Kaiser Permanente and ICCC, 61% were minority-owned and 56% were women-owned.

“We’re delighted to work with Kaiser Permanente and many community partners to provide critical educational and capital resources to small businesses struggling to survive and thrive in the current environment,” said Steve Grossman, CEO, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. “Building sustainable small-business ecosystems in our most under-resourced communities will improve wellness outcomes and help narrow this country’s racial wealth gap.”

The program culminates in a national conference, which will be presented virtually this year. The conference brings together participants across the country for networking, education, and connections to capital providers and anchor institutions.

The deadline for small businesses and social enterprises to apply for the ICCC program is October 23.

For more information visit icic.org/seattle-wa. Go to the 2020 ICCC Application Form to apply.

To qualify for the program, an organization must:

  • Be an independent, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, partnership, or proprietorship.
  • Have its headquarters or more than 51% of its physical operations located in an economically distressed area or have more than 40% of employees residing in an economically distressed area.
  • Have been in operation for 2 years or longer, and be past the proof-of-concept stage. Startup companies are not eligible for this program.

About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national, nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994. ICIC’s mission is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for residents. www.icic.org

About Kaiser Permanente

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.