BOSTON – Today the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a new initiative to target and train inner city businesses in Boston, as well as 10 other cities across the country. Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship which oversees the SBA and its counseling, lending and contracting programs for small firms, made the following statement on the “Emerging 200” initiative:

“This initiative to reach and train businesses in underserved communities, like inner city Boston, is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, for the last seven years, the Bush Administration has side-lined and zero-funded similar initiatives I’ve championed, like the New Markets program, that are designed to boost businesses in low income areas and help them create sustainable, quality local jobs.

“I’m eager to work with the SBA on any and all programs that will help more women and minority entrepreneurs achieve the American dream, but we need more information about how this initiative is being funded, and if and how our existing small business resource partners will be used. We already have strong business training programs at the Center for Women and Enterprise and the Small Business Development Center at UMass Boston that have helped create thousands of jobs across the state. I want to ensure this new initiative is neither duplicative of their services nor ignores the expertise they bring to the table.”