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A little help for business owners

Posted: July 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

J.C. Burnett describes how attending the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program led him to possibly landing Jet propulsion Lab in Pasadena as a customer.

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Benefits of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program were outlined to members of VIA at the industry association’s luncheon Tuesday.


Launched with a $500 million investment by the banking and securities firm in 2009, the eight-week training program helps small business owners learn how to tap into economic growth and create jobs.


Business owners accepted into the program receive scholarships for an intense MBA-level curriculum tailored to small businesses, said Leticia Valadez, lead outreach coordinator for the program at Long Beach City College, one of the locations where training is held. The training program is also held at Los Angeles City College.


“The goal is to create revenues and create jobs in your business,” Valadez said.


The program works in concert with the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center located in Santa Clarita at College of the Canyons and the Valley Economic development Corp.


Local business owner, J.C. Burnett, president of Courier-Messenger Inc., testified to the success of the program he recently attended.


“I developed a five-year growth plan,” Burnett said. “The program also helped me figure out that an idea of mine wasn’t just a good idea but a good opportunity, and how to make it happen.”


The contacts Burnett made, including Valadez and SBDC advisor Max Ordonez, also led to making a contact with the Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was seeking a small business vendor.


JPL needed a large warehouse space to store parts for projects, that could be easily moved over to Pasadena as needed, he said. But the lab needs 125,000 square feet of warehouse space, which meant Burnett needed to secure funding to expand.


With Ordonez as an advisor, Burnett was put in contact with VEDC who is working with him on financing. Warehouse space could run $52,000 a month, Burnett said.


“If I secure funding I think I have a really good chance of being selected (by JPL),” he said. “It’s a five-to-10-year contract that would be life-changing for me.”


Burnett said that without the Goldman Sachs program, he would never have been in the position to bid on a contract with JPL. It gave him the courage and resources to grow his business.


Small businesses generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years according to Goldman Sachs. They represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, hire 40 percent of high-tech workers and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.


“The program has helped businesses grow 60 percent in three years,” Ordonez said.


And, of those firms that grew, all had three factors in common: management, market and money, he said.


To help interested business owners apply for the program, the SBDC is holding a Goldman Sachs application workshop Aug. 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. at COC’s Valencia campus.

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