David Solomon, Top Financial Services Executives, Participate in White House Conference on Small Businesses

David Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, joined a White House video conference today with President Donald Trump, senior administration officials, and other leading executives from the financial services industry to discuss efforts to deliver financial and technical assistance to US small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Below are David’s prepared remarks, during which he doubled the firm's capital commitment, which raised the total to $550 million for all COVID-19 relief efforts from Goldman Sachs. 

Thank you, Mr. President for convening this meeting today, and for what you and your Administration are doing to support small businesses. I also want to thank Ivanka Trump for generously spending time with many of our small business graduates, particularly focusing on minority and women-owned businesses – which comprise 66% of our 10,000 Small Businesses participants.

In 2009, Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Small Businesses to help thousands and thousands of small businesses across the country grow their business and create new jobs. At that time, we were the largest private sector investment to vocational colleges and made the largest single commitment to community development financial institutions.

In the last ten years, we’ve built a best-in-class education model that has reached 9,700 businesses that collectively have over $12 billion in revenues and employ over 175,000 people in the United States.

In our network are businesses who single-handedly built their communities brick-by-brick. Business owners like Angelica Rivera from Colmex Construction in hard-hit New Orleans. Angelica helped New Orleans come back after Katrina, and now she’s part of New Orleans’ COVID-19 story. She is taking care of her parents, her children, and her business, and she’s applying for a PPP loan to keep her employees.

She represents the very real struggle that every small business in America is facing, and we know we need to act now.

To get capital to business owners like Angelica, we announced last week that Goldman Sachs will work with the Small Business Administration and CDFIs across the country.

Today we’re doubling our capital commitment to $500 million and announcing a total of $550 million in COVID-19 relief efforts. We have partnered with CDFIs and other mission-based lenders for over a decade, helping to deliver to small businesses the capital and support they need to fuel their growth.

Businesses need this support urgently and we know that the expertise and experience of CDFIs will be crucial. They provide the reach that is needed – to rural areas and big cities, underserved areas, and importantly, to the many businesses who don’t have a relationship with the traditional banking system.

While we do not have direct small business customers, we are acutely aware of the power of small business, having worked hand-in-hand for over a decade on our 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses programs.

In addition to loan capital, we’ll provide grant funding to enable CDFIs to hire necessary staff and set up additional operations to help as many businesses as possible. We are working with the SBA and Administrator Jovita Carranza to swiftly mobilize this capital to those who need it most.

Before I close, we would like to respectfully request a policy modification to ensure that the funds do not run out before community-driven lenders can access them to serve the most underserved borrowers.

We believe Treasury should work with SBA to provide a designated tranche of the $349 billion that is earmarked for CDFIs and other mission driven lenders and believe this can occur through new guidance.

Otherwise, the businesses served by CDFIs will continue to face an uphill battle in receiving the capital they so desperately and urgently need. We would be happy to work with Treasury on this if the secretary and you concur.


Related:  Goldman Sachs COVID-19 Resource Center for US Small Businesses

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals.  Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

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