By now, you have probably heard about Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to Baltimore – as a place to grow our business, of course, but also as a place to grow health in traditional and nontraditional ways.
You may have participated in the Light City Opening Parade or Fitness Walk just a few weeks ago with thousands of others. You may have heard about Future Baltimore – our partnership with Bon Secours to bring a new community center and so much more to 21223, an underserved area in West Baltimore – or the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Equitable Leadership – a program helping to build equity into five Baltimore organizations. And that’s just scratching the surface of our work in community throughout the Baltimore area.
One thing that’s true about all of our community work – it requires partnership with others to ensure success. Our latest partnership is one that stretches to Boston and Oakland with partners inside and outside Kaiser Permanente and will build wealth and health for Baltimore small business.
Yesterday, Kim Horn joined Baltimore Mayor Pugh and Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) CEO Steve Grossman to announce our partnership to bring Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) to Baltimore. Kaiser Permanente is already working with local communities to offer ICCC, a no-cost “mini MBA” program for established small business, to Los Angeles and Oakland. The ICCC program has a remarkable track record; just one Los Angeles cohort of about 270 businesses raised $166 million in capital and created nearly 1,300 jobs. In offering this kind of opportunity to Baltimore’s entrepreneurs, we are excited to see the amazing things they’ll achieve.
The best part? Nominations and applications are open through mid-June! If you know anyone who owns an established small business in Greater Baltimore, consider nominating them for the program. The full list of eligibility criteria is available on ICIC’s website, along with the application and nominating information.
This program will support health for many of Baltimore’s most underserved small business. It will create jobs and opportunity for hundreds, maybe thousands of residents. It will increase the capacity of our existing small and minority supplier pipeline and add new businesses.
At Kaiser Permanente, we know that small businesses are more than just economic engines for cities– they are a part of the heart and soul of the neighborhoods they serve, and so we must support them to support community.