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Goldman Sachs is committing $15 million to help Utah small-business owners gain practical education, find support services and locate capital to expand their companies and add workers.

The New York-based bank, which has its second-largest U.S. operation in Salt Lake City, is pledging $10 million in lending capital to area businesses and another $5 million over five years toward mentoring programs for business owners and for classroom education taught at Salt Lake Community College.

Goldman's pledge is part of a wider effort known as "10,000 Small Businesses." The bank, which has been criticized for paying huge bonuses to employees after receiving a $10 billion federal bailout during the financial crisis and is widely known for aggressive trading, has assembled $500 million to help small businesses create jobs by knocking down barriers to growth.

"We believe that contributing to the growth of small businesses will positively benefit communities in Salt Lake City and the state of Utah," Esta Stecher, CEO of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, said in a statement Tuesday.

"By bringing the ... program to this area, we hope to positively impact local communities where our employees have lived and worked since our Salt Lake City office first opened in 2000," Stecher said.

The program has three components:

• Starting next January, 30 business owners selected on a competitive basis will attend free classes at Salt Lake Community College. Instructors will teach the curriculum over 10 sessions. Goldman developed the curriculum with help from Babson College, a private business school in Wellsley, Mass.

Goldman operates its program in seven other cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The classes have a 99 percent graduation rate, according to the bank. Close to 70 percent of the owners say the curriculum has led to higher revenue; half said they were able to create jobs.

More sessions will be presented during the five-year period, Goldman said.

• The bank's cash investment will also fund business support services that will be delivered through local business groups, professional service firms and Goldman employees. Some of the local groups are the Salt Lake Chamber, the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Pete Suazo Business Center, which will recruit clients.

• The lending capital that Goldman is making available will be delivered through community development financial assistance groups whose standards may be more flexible than those of banks, a Goldman spokeswoman said.

In 2008, there were more than 58,000 businesses in Utah with fewer than 500 employees, according to the Small Business Administration. One in four were owned by women.

"As the number of small businesses in Utah has increased steadily for the past decade, we know that the success of the local economy depends on helping these businesses grow and create jobs," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement. "Our partnership with Goldman Sachs' '10,000 Small Businesses' will give business owners the support they need to achieve this growth."

The program is aimed at owners with limited resources whose businesses have potential to get bigger, Goldman said.

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What applicants need to know

Must be an owner or co-owner of a business

The business must be at least 2 years old

Business revenue must fall between $150,000 and $4 million in the most recent fiscal year

The business must have at least four full-time employees, including the owner, and no more than 100

Owners of all types of business can apply

All classes and services are free of charge

Another tough quarter for once-mighty Goldman

The investment bank said its net income in the April-through-June period fell 11 percent, to $962 million, or $1.78 per share. That compares with $1.09 billion, or $1.85 per share, a year ago. The earnings were higher than the $1.17 per share that analysts were expecting, and Goldman's stock edged up 30 cents, to close at $97.98 Tuesday.