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DSLBD, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Launch Small Business Leadership Series

Friday, March 23, 2012
Series Designed to Provide Technical Assistance on Finance and Financial Planning

Washington, DC—The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development’s (DSLBD), in partnership with Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, has launched the Small Business Leadership Series, which will provide opportunities for DC small businesses to learn about finance and financial planning strategies and establish banking relationships to support the resilience and growth of their businesses. The first Small Business Leadership Series session was hosted by Merrill Lynch and Bank of America on March 21, and provided participants with insights into tax, retirement, and alternative finance strategies.

“Building resilient businesses in the District of Columbia is an important part Mayor Gray’s strategy to diversify and grow the District’s economy,” said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. “Our partners in the financial sector want to make their financial and technical resources available to District small businesses, and we’re committed to working with them to accomplish that goal.”

This partnership between DSLBD and financial institutions was developed from shared interests to support District small businesses. Financial institutions are increasingly looking to make loans to small businesses, and to implement strategies to identify and support small businesses that could benefit from additional financial services. DSLBD is committed to ensuring that capital and technical assistance is available to every entrepreneur and small business with a great idea and a great plan to make it happen. A series of conversations between DSLBD and financial institutions about how to get more capital and technical assistance to small business resulted in the development and launch of the Small Business Leadership Series.

“Merrill Lynch is committed to the success of the District’s small business community, and we are excited about collaborating with the District Government to deliver the Small Business Leadership Series,” said Merrill Lynch’s Pierre Levermore. “This is about building new relationships, evolving small businesses and our partnerships with them, and keeping District small businesses growing.”

“Bank of America wants to be a business partner, not just a bank, to District small businesses, and that’s why we welcome this collaboration with the District” said Bank of America’s Theo Pahigiannis. “We’re committed to being a resource to help District small businesses succeed, whether it’s helping them grow revenue, cut costs, or develop the high-value relationships that lead to business success.”

Additional Small Business Leadership Series sessions will be scheduled in upcoming weeks and can be registered for through the Small Business Resource Center at:

About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development

The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District’s commercial corridors. For more information on all of DSLBD’s services, go to or contact us at [email protected].