LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Kaiser Permanente Southern California is again sponsoring Inner City Capital Connections, which provides free training, education and mentorship to small businesses located in economically under-resourced areas.

It’s the third consecutive year that Kaiser Permanente has sponsored ICCC in partnership with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national nonprofit research and advisory organization.

“ICCC had such a big influence on me,” said Vanessa Fagiolly, chief financial officer of Amerisal LLC, a graduate of the program. “When we first started our business, we only had four products for distribution. Now we have more than 50 and we’re growing every day. I am so thankful to Kaiser Permanente for its vision to help small business owners succeed.”

A free opening seminar for the Los Angeles/San Bernardino group will take place on Aug. 1 at the Hilton hotel in San Gabriel, where business owners will receive free in-person coaching and learn how to access capital. The deadline to submit applications to participate in this year’s program is July 24.

“Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said John Yamamoto, Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s vice president of community health/government relations.

“Kaiser Permanente promotes local economic vitality in under-resourced areas because the social and economic conditions in our communities have a profound influence on the health of people who live, work and play there.”

After completing the opening seminar, businesses owners will

participate in a 40-hour business training course over three to six months, which includes educational seminars and webinars with coaches and mentors from banking and consulting firms.

More information about the program can be found at http://icic.org/inner-city-capital-connections/nominate-apply/.