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Celebrate local resouces for Small Business Week

Posted: May 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The week of May 16 is National Small Business Week.

Every year since 1963, the nation recognizes National Small Business Week to celebrate the contributions of small businesses to the economic well-being of America.

In 2011, an estimated 27.2 million small businesses in America are honored, according to the Small Business Administration.

The administration has continuously recognized small businesses as major contributors to the strength of the economy.

Small businesses have been cited as leading America out of economic recessions through business growth and job creation.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, according to the administration. Small businesses also create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs in the country and perhaps more significantly drive innovation.

But those same small businesses that support the economic fabric of America often need resources to successfully manage and grow their business.

Local support
Locally, small business owners are fortunate to have a Small Business Development Center located right in the city of Santa Clarita. The center, hosted by College of the Canyons on its Valencia campus, serves northern Los Angeles County.

Helping new and existing businesses, the SBDC provides free or nominal cost services to small business owners by offering advisory and consulting services as well as workshops and training programs.

The center helps small businesses tackle business challenges and develop the skills and tools necessary to successfully manage and grow their businesses.

SBDC advisers work with small-business owners to develop business plans, obtain small business and other certifications, build up use of social networking tools to drive customers and develop marketing plans and financial forecasting models.

For businesses seeking funds, the SBDC works with business owners to complete loan applications for SBA and private loans, and to provide assistance securing equity capital or state and federal government contract opportunities.

The organization can even help prepare a business owner to pitch their business to an angel investor group.

The SBDC announced in April that it is putting together a team of experts to help those in the entertainment and art industries build their businesses.

When the Entertainment and Arts Industry Initiative is launched, it will serve as a community resource for those in the industry who want to enhance their skills and expand their business.

The EAII will also offer free one-on-one consulting is available to those who currently work in this field.

COC programs
College of the Canyons’ economic development division also offers support to small businesses.

The Advanced Technology Incubator provides to technology-oriented entrepreneurs and start-up companies the services to build a successful business. ATI offers both business advisory and mentoring services to start-up companies and small businesses.

Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies offer technology education and manufacturing training in a wide range of computer-aided design and manufacturing disciplines. CACT offers work force training and technical solutions for small businesses so that they can compete in the global economic market.

Employee Training Institute provides customized training for businesses in need of developing their work force. While ETI has focused on aerospace, industrial manufacturing and biotech industries, the institute can work with any company to develop its employees through specialized training classes.

For more information about the small business support services your business can receive, business owners can schedule one-on-one consultations by calling (661) 362-5900 or visit the SBDC’s website at www.sbdc4biz.org. For more information about College of the Canyons programs, business owners can go to www.canyonsecondev.org.

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