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Initiative targets entertainment

Support: Small Business Development Center starts new program to help emerging businesses start

Posted: July 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Smaller companies often provide services to on-location filming projects at production facilities like Disney/ABC Studios’ Golden Oak Ranch, pictured above, in Santa Clarita. The companies can benefit from the Entertainment & Arts Industry Initiative.

The Small Business Development Center has launched another new program in support of emerging and small businesses.

The Entertainment & Arts Industry Initiative, or EAII, is focused on providing services to meet the needs of businesses in the entertainment and arts industry.

There is a lot of entertainment-industry activity that goes on in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope valleys, said Catherine Grooms, assistant director of the SBDC. The center worked with economic-development organizations in the city of Santa Clarita and other groups to develop the EAII program.

The SBDC had been seeing people in the industry and recognized a need to help startup or established businesses in the field.

“The SBDC has been working with businesses in the entertainment industry for some time, but there hasn’t necessarily been a local-business resource,” Grooms said.

Federal grant
Since being awarded a federal grant in February, the SBDC has been reaching out to industry associations, trade groups and organizations.

EAII is providing business resources, education, training and one-on-one consulting to a wide range of businesses; from the individual just starting a business to an existing business. The business advisers are well-versed in the industry, Grooms said.

“We’ve been able to connect with quite a few business owners and help them secure capital, generate revenue, create and retain jobs and develop long-term client relationships,” Grooms said.

The program also expanded to work with companies in the field of recreation, Grooms said.

“When we decided to place our next Scratch Golf Accelerated facility in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Small Business Development Center and their team gave us great insight and understanding that would have taken us months to attain on our own,” said Vikash Sanyal, CEO of Scratch Golf Accelerated.

“Being able to call upon their business expertise, as well as gain a deeper knowledge of the thought processes of our target markets have definitely played a role in our successful launch in early June,” Sanyal said.

Different mindset
In June, the SBDC held a workshop and networking event for industry people focused on effective selling.

“People in this industry have a different mindset; they’re creative people,” Grooms said. “But they sometimes need help on the business side.”

Creative people had started businesses only to find themselves in need of business skills to run the business, she said.

The workshop presented an overview of the importance of the sales function to a business and provided key strategies for attracting potential investors and business partners.

Positive response
So far, the results have been positive, Grooms said.

Abby and Dan Savell, owners of L.A. Percussion Rentals, said they were thrilled to discover the SBDC. Their business is located in Santa Clarita, but works with clients all over Southern California.

“As small-business owners, it often feels like you have to figure out everything yourselves. And sometimes, you don’t even know which avenue to take just to figure it out.”

The Savells said the SBDC was a great resource that saved the couple time and frustration. The center helped them to use QuickBooks correctly for their LLC five years after they formed their business.

“We have funding for a 24-month period,” Grooms said. “Our goal is to reach clients in the industry and bridge the business-skill gap, to help them meet their needs.”

The Entertainment & Arts Industry Initiative can be reached by email at or by calling (661) 362-5900.


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