By Victor Castillo, SBDITC Director
At the Southwestern College Small Business Development Center (Southwestern College SBDC) we are participating in several events that are aimed at mitigating the negative aspects of the credit crunch and financial collapse. On October 11th, 2008 we cosponsored the first annual “Build, Connect, Grow: Access to Capital Business Expo,” where the focus was growing small business in these uncertain times.
Wachovia/Wells Fargo-our sponsor-is keenly aware of the capital crisis. With their state-wide partner Valley Economic Development Corporation (VEDC) they have selected California Southern and the Southwestern College SBDC to promote the expo and seminar series.The registration documents 334 attendees for the expo. During the event, business owners attended breakout sessions on opportunities for green enterprises, government loans and guarantees and the loan process. The keynote speaker of the expo was SBA San Diego District Director Ruben Garcia.
We also had banking representatives in the “Loan Pavilion,” meeting individuals to initiate the loan process and establish a banking relationship. As many as 20 service providers and agencies were represented at the expo. The link to the flyer is at the following URL:http://www.sbditc.org/uploads/build_connect_grow.pdf
Southwestern College SBDC client Larry’s Electrical Services, Inc., was interviewed in a video package for a local news television station. We are currently helping him develop a financing strategy to access capital. You can check out the segment that aired on Channel 10 news in San Diego at:http://www.10news.com/video/17696741/index.html
We are working with Wachovia/Wells Fargo (and have been for the last 18 months) presenting a series of seminars for small businesses. Efforts are being made to focus the series so it addresses issues facing business owners in this current financial turmoil. We have added new seminars to this end. Examples include:
-Human Resources Seminar, to cover issues of avoiding “mis-hires” and legal aspects of hiring and retaining employees.
-Ecommerce seminar to explore new profit centers.
The Southwestern College SBDC is promoting next week’s SCORE event, “How to Survive, Thrive and Grow: During a Recession.” It is designed to address issues arising out of the current financial economic conditions and financial markets. The link is the following:
Additionally, we are asking our clients about issues affecting their businesses. Based on the feedback we receive, we are adapting all our work to be sensitive to the financial market realities. For example, we now stress prequalification for clients in this different financial environment. This includes:
- Credit score enhancement
- Help identifying non-traditional gap financing programs
- Finding opportunities for clients to work with local micro-lenders
If you would like to discuss how your small business is handling these times, please check out our upcoming seminars or call us at (619) 482-6391.