Small Businesses “Get Down to Business” With Training From Capital One Bank

Capital One Bank will host the 5th annual graduation ceremony for small business owners who have successfully completed the bank’s “Getting Down to Business” program on Tuesday, November 19, in Houston.

“Getting Down To Business” is an innovative technical assistance training program designed specifically for small businesses with annual revenues of less than a million dollars. The maximum class size is 15. Participants are selected through an application and interview process held in the spring.

The free program features a 14-course, in-depth curriculum, offered over seven months and designed to help small business owners grow their enterprises. Areas of focus include credit, budgeting, marketing, business plans, financing, networking and insurance.

Course participants also are introduced to a network of industry experts who discuss ways to avoid pitfalls that can ruin a business in its early stages. The program includes a matched savings component of up to $2,000 that the business owners can use for operations, staffing or the purchase of supplies.

“Getting Down To Business” debuted in Houston in 2009 and has expanded into several other cities since then, including New Orleans, Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To date, 154 small business owners have graduated from the program.

As a result of the program, roughly 84% of the participants have significantly improved an operational problem and 70% have increased their sales revenues and profits. And about  83% have implemented a new business or marketing plan. There also was a reported 54 points per class improvement in credit scores.

“Small businesses have a tremendous impact on the national, regional and local economy. At Capital One Bank, we’re committed to helping small businesses of every size grow and thrive — whether it’s directly through our products and services or through innovative partnerships and programs that provide tailored business training, mentoring, and other professional support and resources,” says Laurie Vignaud, Sr. Vice President, Capital One Community Development Banking.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corp had $289.9 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2013. Capital One, N.A. offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services with more than 900 branch locations primarily in Texas, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The “Getting Down To Business” course curriculum was developed by Capital One bankers and local partners that include entrepreneurial association SCORE, credit and debt management services firm Money Management International, and microfinance lender Accion Texas. Other partners include the Louisiana Small Business Development Center and the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity.

In addition to the workshops, each small business receives one-on-one counseling. Participants are paired with knowledgeable professionals and volunteers who serve as mentors and coaches during and post completion of the program. Each small business owner will have a Capital One small business banker, a personal financial advisor, and a veteran business coach.