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Warren Buffett to Co-Chair Goldman Sachs Program to Help Small Businesses

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2009 | 10:34 PM ET
Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs

Warren Buffett will be one of three co-chairmen for a just-announced $500 million Goldman Sachs initiative to help small businesses around the United States.

A Goldman news release tonight (Tuesday) says the initiative will "unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses" by providing them with "greater access to business education, mentors and networks, and financial capital."

Buffett provided Goldman with a $5 billion loan and words of praise last fall at the height of the credit crisis. (The arrangement has proven to be very profitable for him so far.)

The announcement comes on the same day that Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein apologized for Goldman's past participation in "things that were clearly wrong." But the firm tells the New York Timestonight that its 10,000 Small Businesses initiative has been in the works for months and is not motivated by its most recent big-profit, big-bonuses PR problems.

According to the Times:

“I would not be doing this if I didn’t think there was going to be a significant net benefit to small-business owners in this country,” Mr. Buffett said, adding that he was not disturbed by Goldman’s image problems and defended its hefty profits. “They are making a lot of money now,” he said. “I am all for it and this program is a beneficiary.”

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