CITI and Project Equity Launch Business Retention and Recovery Program
Project Equity partnership supports small business recovery and sustainability in South Florida
Project Equity and Citi are raising awareness of employee ownership as a strategy to strengthen Miami-Dade County’s economic resilience, protect local jobs and revenue, and help business owners recruit and retain employees.
Today, Citi and national nonprofit organization Project Equity launched a business succession and recovery initiative aimed at preserving South Florida’s small business vitality. In Miami-Dade County, according to a study by Project Equity, nearly 30,000 businesses are owned by baby boomers nearing retirement, and these businesses account for nearly $50 billion in revenue and 200,000 local jobs. This initiative will demonstrate the significant efficacy of full and partial employee buyouts as a strategy to preserve jobs, provide small business owners liquidity and reinvigorate the economy now and in the post-pandemic world.
“We are working to preserve the feeling that makes South Florida home through the local businesses that have served the community for decades. As more business owners face retirement or struggle to recover from the pandemic, the community becomes vulnerable to losing the local favorites that make up its culture and identity. Through this effort, we can keep these businesses in the community for future generations, preserving jobs and a strong local economy,” stated Evan Edwards, Chief Executive Officer at Project Equity.
Without an exit plan, many local businesses in Miami-Dade County are at risk. Additionally, the pandemic has made recruitment and retention of employees more challenging for business owners, thus slowing the recovery of their operations. Project Equity and Citi are raising awareness of employee ownership as a strategy to strengthen Miami-Dade County’s economic resilience, protect local jobs and revenue, and help business owners recruit and retain employees. Through this collaboration, Project Equity will provide hands-on support to companies that want to explore and execute partial or full employee ownership, and through its Catalyst Fund, it will also offer working capital and transaction financing.
Edwards continued, “Our partners at Citi value keeping jobs in the community and providing business owners with an employee retention and engagement strategy as well as a succession plan that supports small businesses through COVID. We appreciate Citi’s support and our shared value in supporting resilient local economies.”
About Project Equity
Project Equity is a national leader in the movement to harness employee ownership to maintain thriving local business communities, honor selling business owners’ legacies, and address income and wealth inequality. Project Equity works with partners around the country to raise awareness about employee ownership as an exit strategy for business owners and as an important approach for increasing employee engagement and wellbeing. Project Equity provides hands-on consulting, support and financing to companies that want to transition to employee ownership, as well as to the new employee-owners to ensure that they, and their businesses, thrive after the transition. Read more at http://www.project-equity.org.
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. They invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill their mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.