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Anchorage area company selected for program offering inner city companies access to growth capital


Program offers support during trying economic environment for growing urban businesses

ANCHORAGE, AK - The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Bank of America are proud to announce that they have selected Cook Intel Region, Incorporated (CIRI) for their annual Inner City Capital Connections program (ICCC).   This year the program received a record-setting 4,000 company nominations from across the country. Especially critical in today's economic climate, ICCC identifies inner city businesses in need of growth capital and matches them with private equity investors.

CIRI (www.ciri.com) is an Alaskan Native-owned company with business operations and investments in energy and resource development, environmental remediation services, telecommunications and real estate. CIRI was selected for the program because of the company's strong growth potential and commitment to the inner city.

ICCC is a program co-founded with Bank of America to provide web-based training workshops, a day-long information session on equity and other forms of growth financing and an innovative one-day event that directly connects inner city business leaders with investors to make pitches and discuss potential opportunities.

"ICCC opens the door for many inner city businesses to a previously untapped network of financial options, ranging from debt to private equity and alternative financing," stated Deborah Shufrin, ICIC Senior Vice President. "For many inner city entrepreneurs, the executive education about growth capital and advice from investors are essential to securing the right financing to grow their business."

The program is free to the inner city businesses, and 100 companies from across the country have been selected to participate in this year's program.   To qualify, a business must be located in the inner city (defined as an area of concentrated economic distress) or have a disproportionate percent of their employees residing in such an area.  In addition, companies must have $2 million in revenues.   The companies selected for the program represent numerous industries including technology, consumer goods, business and professional services, healthcare and manufacturing.  

Since its inception in 2005, 191 inner city companies and 150 equity providers have participated in ICCC. Participating companies have raised more than $372 million in capital and experienced a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent. More than 70 percent of employees from ICCC firms are inner city residents.

"This year's class of ICCC companies represents the types of businesses needed to create jobs in our urban communities," explained Edward Powers, Managing Director of Bank of America BAML Capital Access Fund. "We are proud to help these growing businesses connect with a vast network of capital providers."

The meetings with potential investors will be held on November 15-16, 2010.  Both the training and investor event will take place in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure.

Facts about ICCC

§  191 inner city businesses, representing 85 cities and 26 states

§  150 investors, representing private equity, venture capital, angel networks, mezzanine financing and debt

§  $372 million in capital raised - $150 million in equity and $233 in debt

§  21 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for revenues and 24 percent average CAGR for employment

§  73 percent of ICCC CEOs are minorities and 27 percent are female

About ICIC
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC expands inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. ICIC's unique knowledge and expertise about inner city success factors and thriving companies is developed from specialized urban networks and path-breaking research. www.icic.org.

About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with 5,900 retail banking offices, more than 18,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. www.bankofamerica.com
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