Start-up firms to get help from AT&T;, accountants


At least three small new Baltimore-area firms will get a few thousand dollars each this year to help them get into business lines that serve the needs of minorities, women and local communities, AT&T; Capital Corp. and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants are to announce tomorrow.

The grants will be available under Partners for Growth, a program sponsored by the telephone company's lending arm and the national association of accountants, which is making Baltimore one of two U.S. cities where community-oriented start-ups will receive grants.

The other city for 1995, yet to be named, will be on the West Coast, said Terri Beavers, of AT&T; Capital's Towson office. "The key requirement to get a grant will be to show that your business plan serves a community need," she said.

The accountants' association will give applicants help in meeting other requirements, including preparation of a business plan that shows a strong prospect of success. Applicants must be "start-up" businesses, either newly formed or no more than two years in operation.

Entrepreneurs will have until Aug. 1 to work with AICPA accountants to complete applications, which will then be reviewed by a committee of 12 Baltimore-area business and community leaders.

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