Market Overview

City Accelerator Expands to Five More U.S. Cities to Help Strengthen Local Minority-Owned Businesses and Create Jobs


With Support by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities, $500,000
Distributed to Atlanta, El Paso, Long Beach, Newark, and Rochester

The 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.

"Cities can have a disproportionately positive impact on local
entrepreneurial ecosystems and the creation of good jobs", said Living
Cities President and CEO Ben Hecht. "The cities in this latest
initiative will be showing how they can harness all of their assets to
support and grow businesses owned by the nation's fastest growing
populations—people of color—and help to close racial gaps in wealth and
income in their own backyards."

"Creating innovative ways to build opportunity and equity through job
growth, business incubation and workforce training is a priority for our
Administration and our city," said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
"Our vision for One Atlanta includes a city where neighborhoods,
communities and businesses thrive. We look forward to working with the
Citi Foundation and Living Cities through the City Accelerator to
realize that goal."

"The El Paso Public Library System is a support mechanism within our
community that aims to enhance economic and educational opportunities,
especially for our minority population," said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.
"El Paso has over 54,000 minority-owned local businesses and we look
forward to working with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities through
the City Accelerator to enhance and cultivate the business community to
support regional entrepreneurial efforts."

"Long Beach is committed to advancing its Economic Blueprint through
participation in the City Accelerator, which will help map our local
entrepreneurial ecosystem, identify growth industries, and support local
talent," said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. "Through this exciting
partnership with Citi Foundation and Living Cities, we hope to create a
seamless support system for entrepreneurs to start and grow their
businesses in Long Beach."

"Taking part in the City Accelerator initiative will help us get two of
my administration's most important initiatives off the ground—Buy Newark
and the Contractor Development Initiative," said Newark Mayor Ras J.
Baraka. "Whether ensuring that anchor institutions commit to increasing
purchasing from Newark businesses or large developers partner with
smaller minority and women-owned contractors, we are implementing unique
programs to drive local procurement. Newark is a city on the rise and we
look forward to working with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities as we
use every tool in our toolkit to ensure that development is inclusive."

"My administration is committed to creating more jobs, safer and more
vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of
our residents, regardless of the zip code they live in," said Rochester,
NY Mayor Lovely A. Warren. "As our economy rebounds and becomes more
focused on entrepreneurship and small business, it is essential that
everyone is a part of the growth and prosperity. We are excited to work
with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities as part of the City
Accelerator as we develop strategies and policies designed to build an
inclusive ecosystem that provides all Rochesterians with the opportunity
to build a brighter future through business ownership."

In addition to a $100,000 grant, each city will receive a combination of
coaching, technical assistance and implementation resources in the
coming year. Cities may consider local policy reform, changes in
standard small business support practices, staff training, leadership
and accountability structures, communications, outreach and relationship
building, and capacity-building.

Technical assistance for the effort will be provided by Rodrick Miller,
President and CEO of Ascendant Global, an economic development
consulting firm. Miller has previously served as the President and CEO
of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the New Orleans Business

To track the progress and work of these City Accelerator cities in the
coming year, visit Governing
, Citi's
and follow #CityAccelerator on Twitter.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the
lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in
efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities
for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant
cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach
leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our
mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more
information, visit

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.

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About Living Cities

Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 18 of the world's
largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new
approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and
improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research,
networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for
innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to
accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found

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