Today’s groundbreaking at 14651 Novice Street, a foreclosed property in Panorama City acquired by the City using NSP funds, is the first bricks-and-mortar project associated with Bridges to Business Success. Businesses that successfully complete the certification and training program will have the opportunity to bid on contracts related to the rehabilitation of the property.“We are proud to support this innovative program and to provide minority-owned businesses with the knowledge and skills to expand their business, create jobs, and strengthen their communities,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, President of Citibank California. “Through this unique public-private collaboration, Bridges to Business Success is already helping business owners and communities in Southern California.” Key to the success of Bridges to Business Success is the availability of 25 affordable housing construction contracts with the Los Angeles Housing Department, on which participating minority-owned businesses can bid after completing the training. These contracting opportunities are associated with the rehabilitation of foreclosed properties, like 14651 Novice Street, acquired by Restore Neighborhoods Los Angeles, Inc. Praise for the expected impact of Bridges to Business Success is widespread at all levels of government. “Bridges to Business Success is an innovative approach to utilizing HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding,” said Ophelia Basgal, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Not only is this program providing opportunities for small business development and job creation but it will also address the stabilization of neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures by rehabilitating vacant homes like this one here in Panorama City and those throughout the Los Angeles metro area.” “The foreclosure crisis doesn’t just hurt the families who lose their homes, it damages entire communities by adding blight to our neighborhoods,” said LA Councilmember Richard Alarcón. “This program not only reduces blight – it goes even further by creating jobs and supporting minority-owned small businesses in Los Angeles. I am very proud to continue my support of the Building Bridges to Success program.”
Most of the Bridges to Business Success Program participants will receive certification by the Southern California Minority Business Development Council thanks to support from Citi, greatly expanding access to contracting opportunities and new capital needed to grow. It is estimated that the program will create 200 new jobs by the end of 2012.“USC knows the importance of providing jobs for our community and the vital role that minority businesses play in creating self-sufficiency and job creation,” said Theda S. Douglas, Associate Vice President of Government Partnerships and Programs for USC. “We are proud of our role in creating stronger neighborhoods by empowering and enhancing an entrepreneurial spirit.” About Citi Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. 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. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi About Citi Community Development Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.