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Bank celebrates latest group of graduates of 14-course small business development program

Capital One Bank recently hosted its 6th annual graduation ceremony for small business owners who have successfully completed the bank’s “Getting Down to Business” program at the bank’s headquarters in Houston.

U.S. Rep. Al Green of Houston addressed the graduates and congratulated them on committing to growing their businesses and having a positive impact on the Houston economy.

Created by Capital One Bank, Getting Down to Business is a free comprehensive, seven-month training program that provides qualified business owners with information and guidance designed to help them grow their companies. 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 up to $2,000 that the business owners can use for operations, staffing or the purchase of supplies.

The program’s 14-course, in-depth curriculum was developed by Capital One bankers and local partners that include SCORE, Money Management International and Accion Texas. Other partners for 2014 included: Avenue CDC; Houston LISC; Greater Northside Management District; METRO; and the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity. Each small business received one-on-one mentoring during the program, and those mentors will make themselves available for continued support following graduation.

Getting Down to Business debuted in Houston in 2009 and is now also offered in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Dallas. To date, the program has provided more than 200 small business owners with many of the tools they need to thrive. As a result of going through the program, many of the graduates have been able to hire new employees; increase sales revenues and profits; implement successful marketing strategies and increase credit scores.

“The graduates of Capital One Bank’s Getting Down to Business program are strong and committed small business owners in greater Houston, and Capital One Bank is proud to work with them to help them grow their businesses,” said Laurie Vignaud, Senior Vice President, Capital One Community Development Banking. “As a local bank, we are deeply committed to investing for good in greater Houston to help it grow and thrive. This program is a sound investment in the future of our community.”

Small business owners interested in information about the next class of “Getting Down To Business” can call 713-435-5317.

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