Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Small Start-Up Businesses Win Grants, Management Counseling from Partners for Growth

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Small Start-Up Businesses Win Grants, Management Counseling from Partners for Growth

Article excerpt

A company marketing newly patented, environmentally sound products, a dry cleaning and laundry business that will provide service and job training and the creator of a line of easy-to-wear clothing for the physically disabled were among the recipients of grants from Partners for Growth, a pilot program in Philadelphia and Houston that promotes small business and social responsibility. The program, created by the management consulting services division of the American Institute of CPAs and AT&T Capital Corp., offered a total of $50,000 in each city, to be divided among the winners.

Partners aims to improve the quality of community life in urban areas by awarding grants to new businesses that provide a social benefit, such as creating jobs in a depressed area.

In addition to the grants, the winners will receive free business counseling from local AICPA members who are management consultants. This is especially important because, as Joseph A. Puleo, managing partner of Puleo & Thompson, Hamden, Connecticut, and chairman of the AICPA MCS executive committee, noted, "Entrepreneurs start out with a dream of economic independence, but that vision must be refined by the realities facing a start-up. Factors such as government regulations, budgeting and taxes easily can be overlooked or inadequately addressed in the excitement of the new venture. Our program addresses this pitfall by providing a full year of counseling from CPA consultants for grant recipients."

A new image in two cities

In addition to its impact on the awardees' communities, Puleo, who is national Partners cospokesperson, said, "this program conveys the message that CPAs do much more than provide tax and audit services. We provide consulting services to small businesses, startups and businesses with a variety of concerns."

In Philadelphia, a task force cochaired by sole practitioner Edward J. O'Grady and composed of MCS division members and AT&T Capital executives selected three winners from 123 applications. …

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