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Keybank Funds South Valley Chamber and Suazo Business Center Business Accelerator with $200,000 Grant

SANDY, UT – January 11, 2022 - KeyBank, the South Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Suazo Business Center today announced a $200,000 grant from KeyBank to continue the Chamber’s small business growth and workforce development program for the next two years, while introducing the same program for Spanish language participants through the Suazo Business Center.

The KeyBank Business Accelerator is a hands-on program for existing business owners that provides the knowledge and know-how to create and manage a customized, three-year strategic growth plan. The 10-week program is designed to help small- to mid-sized business increase their capacity for growth through education. The program is unique in that it teaches entrepreneurs skills in finance, marketing, sales and human resources, while also connecting them to a network of local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The grant also provides the funding for the program and all supporting materials to be translated and delivered in Spanish through the Suazo Business Center beginning in 2022. Participants in both the Salt Lake City and Ogden areas will have access to the Spanish programming.

“We are grateful to KeyBank for joining with us in providing this training and education opportunity for small and midsize businesses,” said Jay Francis president/CEO of the South Valley Chamber. “We know that we’re not only helping businesses, but we are changing lives, and we are pleased to be doing this with the Suazo Center.”

“For the past two years, we have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the South Valley Chamber and have utilized the KeyBank Business Accelerator by sending our own clients to attend their program. Having the opportunity to offer this programming in Spanish will greatly impact our Hispanic and Latino small business communities in a way not seen before in our area,” said Silvia Castro, executive director of the Suazo Business Center. “We are very excited to be able to expand this program and include the language and cultural capacities needed to reach a larger, more diverse audience.”

To date, 70 percent of participants report having increased their annual revenue by an average of 47 percent after completing the program. Together, the South Valley Chamber and Suazo Business Center anticipate serving as many as 150 small businesses in the greater Salt Lake metropolitan area over the next two years.

“We have watched the KeyBank Business Accelerator flourish over the past three years, and we’ve seen the small businesses of the people who participate in this program flourish right alongside it,” said Debbie Trujillo, regional corporate responsibility officer for KeyBank in Utah, with regard to the existing program at the South Valley Chamber. “It is our pleasure to provide the financial support needed to keep this program alive and to be able to expand it to Spanish-speaking small business owners throughout the region. We can’t wait to see how these entrepreneurs put their newfound knowledge, skills and passion to work in the local community as they complete this program.”


For more information and to apply, visit for the English program, or for the program in Spanish.


About the South Valley Chamber

The South Valley Chamber of Commerce and the South Valley Chamber Economic Development Foundation provide ongoing education and training opportunities to build the capacity of small to medium size businesses across the Wasatch Front. In addition, the Chamber provides top-notch events, advertising benefits, and access to members to help build networks and grow businesses.

About Suazo Business Center

The Suazo Business Center is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to focus on the economic empowerment of the minority community through entrepreneurship. We work to end cycles of poverty, eliminate generational wealth gaps, and build self-reliance through small business ownership and workforce development.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $187.0 billion at September 30, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

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