With Support from Citi Foundation, City Accelerator Expands to Five More U.S. Cities
Citi Foundation and Living Cities today announced the expansion of the City Accelerator program to five additional U.S. cities – Atlanta, El Paso, Long Beach, Newark, and Rochester. The five cities will work together over the next year to pursue a range of projects to support the growth of local minority-owned businesses and the creation of additional jobs in their communities. Local initiatives range from ensuring minority-owned businesses are integrated into the commercial development of the 31-acre Pittsburgh Yards site in Atlanta to expanding small business services through the network of local libraries in El Paso.
“While the impact of small business growth on the U.S. economy is widely appreciated, the potential of minority-owned small businesses is often overlooked,” said Ed Skyler, Citi's Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Chair of the Citi Foundation. “These cities recognize this untapped potential and are coming together to rethink how they work with minority-owned small businesses to help them grow and create high-quality jobs.”
All five cities selected for this Accelerator are majority-minority, meaning that relative to the overall U.S. population, racial minorities comprise a majority of the local population, making them prime urban centers to address the barriers people of minority-owned businesses face, including access to capital, connections to industries, and navigating regulations.
Now in its fifth year, the City Accelerator has brought together 17 municipalities to test new approaches that improve the lives of residents, especially those with low incomes. For example, Baltimore created an online portal for residents returning from the criminal justice system to access services and job opportunities, which is now part of the Baltimore City Health Department’s TECHealth initiative. Seattle created a system managed by the Department of Neighborhoods to integrate the perspectives of racially diverse communities into the planning of key projects and policies and track the results. The City of Los Angeles is using its position as the host of the 2028 Olympics to test out policies and programs that will ensure small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, have access to the economic opportunities that come with hosting a large event...