Cynthia started her first restaurant at age 17. Now at age 24, she owns multiple restaurants around the Bay Area. A working capital loan from Opportunity Fund is helping power her success in a tough industry.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  This week, read about Cynthia Vo of Phonomenal in San Jose. Cynthia started her first restaurant at age 17. Now at age 24, she owns multiple restaurants around the Bay Area. A working capital loan from Opportunity Fund is helping power her success in a tough industry.

Against the Odds

Cynthia Vo broke all the rules on her path to entrepreneurship. She started her first restaurant at age 17. She managed multiple eateries and a nightclub while attending college on a tennis scholarship. She went against her parents’ wishes to attend law school in favor of living the small business life. It’s that can-do spirit that fuels Cynthia’s success in a tough industry.

Now 24 years old, Cynthia owns five successful restaurants around the Bay Area. She started her first in San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose: a Vietnamese spot named On a Roll. Two years later, she started a noodle stand in the same downtown market, Phonomenal. Another two years after that, she opened a hamburger stand in the SoFA Market a few blocks away from San Pedro Square called On the Flipside. Add a nightclub and two new spots soon to open in Santa Cruz and Oakland respectively, and you can see how busy Cynthia is.

Cynthia Vo - Phonomenal

Cynthia takes time out for a bite at On the Flipside, one of her San Jose-based restaurants (Photo courtesy of Christian Peacock)

She had no trouble running the business while attending school and playing varsity tennis, but she ran into some issues with financing her growing business dreams. “Funding is so hard to get,” Cynthia said. “Nobody wanted to give me a loan because I was turning 18 at the time and I had no credit. Some lenders told me to come back in a few years.”

Building on Success

Cynthia never backs down from a challenge, so she called Opportunity Fund and got in touch with business development officer, Shanna McClearn. Shanna saw Cynthia’s excellent business acumen right away and was able to get her a $20,000 loan to help with cash flow. Since she started working with us in 2014, Cynthia has become a loyal business borrower.

“When I first reached out to you I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “Shanna took the time to sit down with me and figure out what we could do. She worked with what I had and helped me get the paperwork I needed.”

Cynthia is opening restaurants to build toward her ultimate dream: opening a country club in San Jose, with a golf course, tennis courts, and a banquet hall. She wants to raise her own capital and do it without investors, so she’s investing in the success of her restaurants to make it happen.

Opportunity Fund is happy to support hardworking entrepreneurs like Cynthia and to give them the runway they need to launch their wildest business dreams. We’ll be there to help Cynthia when she needs to boost one of her exciting new Bay Area eateries.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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As a small business owner, lenders often look at both your personal and business credit scores. Our content partner Nav explains how you can monitor both, why your credit score looks different across different credit bureaus, and why it’s important to keep track of.

As a small business owner, lenders often look at both your personal and business credit scores. Our content partner Nav.com explains how you can monitor both, why your credit score looks different across different credit bureaus, and why it’s important to keep track of.

Did you know: As a small business owner, you can be judged by more than 7 different credit scores!

So when applying for business credit or a loan, you probably won’t know what score—or combination of scores—your lender uses.

And ignoring any one of them could ruin your chances of getting approved.

Credit errors can kill your app

A few years ago, Nav’s founder and CEO, Levi King, experienced this problem first hand.

“In 2005 I got mailed a generic form letter that said my application for business financing was rejected due to information found on my Equifax credit report,” said King. “It didn’t make any sense. I knew my personal credit was spotless.”

It wasn’t until he dug a little deeper that King uncovered the issue.

“After several phone calls, an underwriter clarified that it was my business credit report with Equifax that was a problem, not my consumer credit report (the form letter I received didn’t specify).”

Once he got the report in his hands, King noticed a couple glaring errors. It took him awhile to get it sorted out with Equifax, but he finally got approved for his loan.

Get to know all of your scores

For most small business owners, you can expect lenders to look at both your personal and business credit, especially if you haven’t been in business very long.

To make things even more confusing—because of differences in the law—your business isn’t protected by the FCRA. That means lenders aren’t required to notify you if they denied your application because of issues on your business credit report.

It could be used against you and you may never know! That’s another reason why it’s critical to monitor your business credit.

To help you figure out which scores you should be looking at, here’s a list of the most prominent reporting bureaus and providers:

Personal scores: Experian, Transunion and Equifax.

Business scores: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax and FICO SBSS.

Which scores do small business lenders use?

It’s almost impossible to find out exactly how your lender evaluates your financing application. They can use any combination of scores.

In fact, many lenders will draw information from various sources and create their own risk models.

What we do know is that the SBA uses the FICO SBSS score to pre-screen all 7(a) small business loans up to $350,000. And if the SBA is requiring it, you can be sure more banks will follow suit—hundreds already use SBSS.

Why do my credit scores vary?

Each bureau can have different information on file for the same person or business, and wind up producing a different score. That’s why you’ve probably noticed your score vary from bureau to bureau.

Even random things like your industry code can have a major impact on how your business is judged.

To give yourself the best chance to secure funding, you should make sure every detail on all your credit reports is correct before you apply.

Be careful: Some credit monitoring sites allow you to monitor your personal scores for free, but don’t include all three bureaus. Plus, many of these “free” sites wind up selling your personal information to other companies. (It’s how they make money.)

Instead of tracking all seven scores separately, there’s an easier solution.

How to easily monitor all your scores

Nav’s platform gives you access to both your business and personal credit reports from four of the leading bureaus—all in one spot.

That means you can get a comprehensive view of your credit life without having to go from site to site, saving you time and money.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The onset of the new U.S. government administration in 2017 has raised uncertainty and questions about the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). While it is unclear what will happen or what the long-term effects will be for small businesses, California businesses should continue to keep up with increased rates and changes in federal and state law.

The onset of the new U.S. government administration in 2017 has raised uncertainty and questions about the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). While it is unclear what will happen or what the effects will be for small businesses, California businesses should continue to keep up with increased rates and changes in federal and state law.

What has stayed the same:

Since the start of 2016, California small businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees have to provide their full-time employees with affordable health insurance or pay a hefty fine. Offering health insurance is not mandatory if you have fewer than 50 full-time employees, but offering coverage will give your business a competitive edge for hiring the best talent.

California is one of a few states that has expanded the definition of small businesses able to find health insurance through Covered California’s small business marketplace in 2016. Now, businesses with up to 100 full-time employees can purchase coverage through the marketplace.

If your small business has fewer than 25 full-time employees and meets a few additional requirements, you may qualify for the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit. Look into this option because if you qualify, you could save your business up to 50 percent of premiums paid for employee coverage.

What is changing this year:

If you choose to find health insurance through Covered California, your small business has options for subsidies and more affordable brand-name carriers. While private premium rates will go up 13 percent in 2017, rates for small businesses will only rise an average of 6 percent. This is lower than the 7 percent increase for 2016.

No matter what changes come to 2017 regarding the Affordable Care Act, small businesses should still make sure they comply with current California healthcare requirements. For more information, check out Covered California’s small business resource guide.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez built a food service empire from the ground up. Thanks to two small business loans from Opportunity Fund, she was able to start her own business and later expand into a successful food truck enterprise in Los Angeles with 15 employees.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. This week, read about Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez of Tony’s Tacos in Los Angeles. Marisol built a food service empire from the ground up. Thanks to two small business loans from Opportunity Fund, she was able to start her own business and later expand into a successful restaurant and food truck enterprise in Los Angeles with 15 employees.

Hard Work and Good Food

Marisol Hernandez Rodriguez has worked in the food industry since 2008. After two years of working for someone else, she wanted to go into business for herself. She started out with a hot dog cart then worked up to her current venture: Tony’s Tacos.

Marisol named Tony’s Tacos, a lunch truck in Los Angeles, after her youngest son. She runs the lunch truck and prepares all the food at her restaurant Guadalajara City on Florence Avenue in Los Angeles.

Aside from slinging tacos for hungry customers lined up around the block at her food truck, she had to work hard to finance her successful business. The search for business financing is an uphill battle, especially for immigrant entrepreneurs like Marisol.

“I tried to get financing, but it’s too expensive at most places,” she said. “The interest rates are so high. Plus, not every financial institution or lender believes in new businesses and food trucks. it’s very hard for people like me to get funded.”

A Personal Loan Connection

Over the last three years of preparing and selling her food around the city, Marisol has worked with Opportunity Fund to finance her entrepreneurial dreams. Her loan consultant Miguel Garcia has been with her since the start of her enterprises, first offering a $12,000 loan.

“When I started my hot dog trailer, I only had ten thousand dollars,” she said. “Miguel helped me get the money I needed to start my business.”

Marisol’s first food truck business was a success and allowed her to pay off her loan quickly. She took out a second loan of $75,000 to finance her new food truck. Tony’s Tacos is following the same success she had with her hot dog cart, and she’s inspired to do even more with Opportunity Fund financing.

“I have 15 people working for me,” she said. “From here, the sky’s the limit. I want to open my own restaurant and call it Tony’s Tacos.”

Tony's Tacos

Marisol and her crew work hard to make delicious food for the people in their Los Angeles neighborhood (Photo courtesy of ROF Industries)

Marisol is thankful for the connection to Opportunity Fund and Miguel in particular. “It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and my business,” she said of working with Opportunity Fund. “Miguel believes in me. He encouraged me to start my own business and expand.”

Opportunity Fund makes a difference in the lives of our borrowers every day. Our loan consultants are committed to working with borrowers to ensure their long term success through our loan programs. We’re especially proud to serve the Hispanic business community and support entrepreneurs like Marisol.

See how we helped Marisol start her business with a hot dog cart and then expand with a taco truck in this video:

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Even though tax season isn’t fun, taking the time to find the best deductions for your small business will pay off. Our content partner Nav shares some tax deductions that can save you money.

Even though tax season isn’t fun, taking the time to find the best deductions for your small business will pay off. Our content partner Nav.com shares some tax deductions that can save you money.

Guest post by Maple C. She has made a career out of encouraging others to follow their dreams in all aspects of life. Her experience in the business world encouraged her to start her own blog, an inspiration hub for readers everywhere.

There’s still time to take advantage of small business tax deductions before the year’s end.

For most people, the term “tax season” doesn’t evoke the same heartwarming feelings that phrases like “holiday season” or even “football season” do.

But alas, taxes are a necessary obligation we all face, and rather than dwell on it, I try to focus on the positive side of the situation. For me, that’s tax deductions! Working with my accountant to find all of the deductions I’m eligible for has turned into a game over the years. The more we find, the better my return – and the bigger the return, the better the prize!

Through owning many businesses over the years, I’ve learned that there are several deductions for which small business owners can be eligible. Unfortunately, many of these go unclaimed year after year, perhaps because tax payers are unclear if they are eligible for them or simply because they are unaware that they exist. Here are a few deductions you may want to look into if you’re a small business owner:

  1. Startup costs will work in your favor once your business takes off. It’s important to record business expenses from the very beginning of your venture, because as soon as the business starts making sales, startup costs can be deducted. The trick to having the IRS consider them is having comprehensive records of these expenses, such as business-related equipment or educational courses.
  2. If you work out of your home, you may be able to deduct some of your home-related expenses that are also used toward your business. You are likely qualify for a home office deduction if you have a true designated space in your dwelling that is used exclusively for business purposes. If it’s your dream to work from home but you don’t have a home office, you might want to consider reinvesting funds from your next tax refund to set up a home office space. Paying this expense now could save you money in the long run, and could make you eligible for a home-based business deduction in the future.
  3. Keep a record of all of your car trips and automobile expenses. There are two ways to claim vehicle expenses, the actual expense method and the standard mileage rate method. You may also qualify for deductions based on the age of your vehicle, as well as any maintenance fees it requires to keep running. If you use your vehicle for business purposes at all, it’s wise to record every trip you take by logging the date, miles traveled and business purpose; parking or toll fees; maintenance costs; and insurance expenses.
  4. As a small business owner, your primary focus may be on finding deductions for your business – but don’t forget about the ways you can save on your personal income taxes, too! Homeowners are entitled to a variety of tax benefits. If you’re on the white picket fence about whether you’re in the position to buy a home, read up on how you can create a home-buying budget and check out what your closing costs will be and how you can lower them. All this will help you better understand your financial position.

While tax time will probably never be an occasion when you feel like breaking out your party decorations and confetti, it also doesn’t have to be a time of great stress. By taking advantage of the many deductions that may be available to you, tax season may end up feeling like a game you’re equipped to win.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable tax resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable tax resources.

Whether you file your small business’ taxes yourself or pay a professional, preparing for tax season is not fun. There are a lot of potential mistakes you can make and deductions you can miss. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help tax preparation easier and less confusing.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: While it may seem obvious, the Internal Revenue Service is the most accurate resource for information regarding taxes. This portal for entrepreneurs is chock-full of helpful links to ease your concerns and questions. From a free tax calculator to a term dictionary, this web page can help you properly and easily prepare your small business taxes. Also, check out the small business tax workshop the IRS created for a comprehensive, but quick, guide to your business taxes.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Every business is unique, and the more diverse your small business is the more complicated your taxes will be. Business USA created an easy-to-use tool that takes information about your small business and shows you a tailored list of tools and information that pertain to your business’ individual needs. If your business has employed veterans or disabled people, invested in charities or green energy, own property or vehicles for business use, provide benefits to your employees, or several other unique situations, this resource can help you navigate the tax complexities of your small business.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This short but sweet resource is an easy-to-read list of all the paperwork and information you will need to efficiently file your small business’ taxes. This checklist is especially handy if you have been procrastinating and don’t know what you need. Whether you are filing taxes yourself or hiring a tax professional, this checklist will help make gathering everything you need easier.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: One of the most complicated aspects of business tax is how to handle your employees’ payroll. These five important tips will help you stay on top of accurately classifying and handling payroll taxes so you don’t get slapped with fines and penalties from the IRS.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Running a small business takes a lot of time and energy. Spending a little money to hire a tax professional handle your small business’ taxes might be worth the time and money saved from doing it yourself. Use this resource for finding a legitimate tax preparer. If you are doing your business taxes yourself, or just want to be better informed, this site also has great webinars, workshops, and information about different areas of tax law and preparation.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Jessica Toribio has been working in the beauty industry for over 20 years. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, she was able to make improvements to her salon and increase her advertising. We helped her improve her credit and understand business lending with our friendly and personalized loan services.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  This week, read about Jessica Toribio of The Studio of Kosmeticos in Anaheim. Jessica has been working in the beauty industry for over 20 years. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, she was able to make improvements to her salon and increase her advertising. We helped her improve her credit and understand business lending with our friendly and personalized loan services.

Financing Solutions for Salons

Jessica Toribio opened The Studio of Kosmeticos in Anaheim six years ago. She’s spent most of her life working in the beauty industry, with over 20 years of experience. She offers hair, nail, and skin care services for men, women, and children in Orange County.

Jessica started her business with the dream to expand to multiple locations. Before she could expand, she had to outfit her current salon with equipment and promote her services with new signage.

She made a connection with Opportunity Fund loan consultant Osbaldo Velazquez, who visited her salon shortly after the grand opening. Before long, Jessica realized how working with Opportunity Fund could help her boost her business.

“I needed financing to invest in my business,” she said. “I felt comfortable working with Opportunity Fund because I already knew Osbaldo, so I decided to apply.”

Building a Business While Rebuilding Credit

Osbaldo helped Jessica get a $3,000 loan, which financed signage for the front of the salon and a new pedicure chair. The capital for equipment and promotions has helped The Studio of Kosmeticos’ business grow, but the connection to a knowledgeable finance resource means a lot to Jessica as well.

Studio of Kosmeticos - Signage

Part of the $3,000 loan we funded for Jessica’s salon went to marketing and advertising (photo courtesy of ROF Industries)

“Opportunity Fund has helped me rebuild my credit,” she said. “Osbaldo is also there for me to answer my questions and give me advice on business lending.”

Jessica tried working with other small business financing resources but found that Opportunity Fund best fit her needs.

“Opportunity Fund took the time to explain what their programs are all about,” she said. “Other places asked me to fill out an application but didn’t explain the process. Osbaldo helped me feel comfortable about getting a small business loan. I’m very thankful for that.”

Now that Jessica has the funding she needs to better serve her clients and reach out to new clients, she hopes to work with us in the future to expand into a chain of salons in Orange County. We’ll be there to help Jessica make the world a more beautiful place.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in January.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting the free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in January.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Entrepreneurs – How to Successfully Build Your Business
Date: January 5, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: James Irvine Foundation Conference Center, Plaza A Room
353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | 510-208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Join Alameda County SBDC for a thought provoking and entertaining afternoon. Francesca Kuglen will share how she grew her business from an idea and a $250 investment into a multimillion dollar leader in the hair accessory industry. This is a must attend for any female business owner who wants a down-to-earth perspective on turning passion, perseverance, and products into profits.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Managing difficulties when introducing revolutionary ideas to the marketplace
  • Balancing the pros and cons of licensing

Click here to register for this event.

PR for Food Businesses
Date: January 10, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: Food Craft Institute
478 25th Street Suite D Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Shannon Gomes
Organization: Good Food PR
Fee: $20

Do you need a press release for your new product? Will “cold calling” media outlets get you results?

This two-hour workshop led by Good Food PR founder Shannon Gomes will introduce food business owners to public relations (“PR”) and how it can help their businesses. A wide range of topics will be covered, but the main purpose is to take the mystery out of PR in these three ways:

  • Discuss what PR is and who (really) needs it
  • Cover various PR Strategies for small and/or new food businesses
  • Outline PR best practices

To register for this event, click here.

Drive New Business with Social Media
Date: January 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: San Francisco SBA Center
455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfscore@sfscore.org | 415-744-6827
Organization: SBA and San Francisco SCORE
Fee: $15

This seminar will teach you effective social media marketing for your small business or nonprofit organization.

The SBA and San Francisco SCORE will help you:

  • Determine the platform that’s right for you and your organization
  • Announce your presence and build your network
  • Create and share content that encourages action
  • Understand social media advertising and learn your options
  • Convert social media leads into potential customers by growing your email list

Make social media easy! Join us for this event.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Tax Tips for Small Business
Date: January 10, 2017 | 5:00 pm PST – 7:00 pm PST
Location: North Valley BusinessSource Center
13420 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 121 Pacoima, CA 91331 (map it)
Contact: nvbsc@vedc.org | 818-834-0577
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

This workshop will give you guidance and useful information to help you keep accurate records and save money on your various business tax liabilities. Join VEDC to learn valuable skills to keep your business afloat!

Click here to register for this event.

La Verne Business Resource Seminar and Expo
Date: January 11, 2017| 8:00 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: University of LaVerne Campus Center, 3rd Floor
2180 Third St. La Verne, CA 91750 (map it)
Contact: 909-448-1567
Organization: La Verne SDBC
Fee: Free

Join La Verne SBDC for this business resource seminar and expo. You’ll get strategies for success in today’s economy from experts and community organizers from the City of La Verne, the La Verne Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Topics include:

  • Simplifying Sales and Use Tax for Your Business
  • Minimize Tax Frustration with Effective Recordkeeping
  • Access to Capital – Be Prepared for Your Success
  • Employee or Independent Contractor? Demystify Common Misconceptions
  • Recordkeeping for Small Businesses – Avoiding Tax Audits With Effective Recordkeeping
  • Ten Tips to Ensure Small Business Success
  • Forms of Ownership – Tax Advantages of Properly Classifying Your Business

Click here to register for this event.

How to Get Lenders to Say YES! to You
Date: January 23, 2017 | 11:30 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: Poway City Hall
13325 Civic Center Drive Poway, CA 92064 (map it)
Contact: chamber@poway.com | 858-748-0016
Organization: Poway Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Join local lenders and the Small Business Administration for this free seminar on available resources to help your business grow. Small business lending experts will cover these key topics:

  • How to understand the “Mind Set” of the lenders
  • How to access capital to start your business
  • How to get started with resources available to business owners

Join us for this exciting program featuring special guest speakers Rosalinda Delgado, Business Development Officer at Acción, Esther Carrillo, Loan Officer at CDC Small Business Finance, and Mike Sovacool, Acting Lead Economic Development Specialist at U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Social Media Video Production Webinar
Date: January 9, 2017 | 11:00 am PST – 1:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: 951-652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: $15

Learn how to create, implement, and boost sales using social media video. This course will include social media video tools like Facebook Live and Periscope. Learn techniques used the film industry to create videos that will help your business:

  • Attract new customers
  • Increase website traffic
  • Engage quality customers
  • Raise more funds

Click here to register for this event.

What to Say, and How to Say It: Crafting Effective Email Messages
Date: January 18, 2017| 4:00 pm PST – 5:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: entrectr@hartford.edu | 860-768-5681
Organization: University of Hartford
Fee: Free

Learn to create, curate, and extend email content that will help you achieve your business goals. This seminar will teach you time-saving tips, techniques, and apps to help you develop and share content successfully.

You will learn these key how-tos:

  • Use links to create the most engagement
  • Turn questions into high-open subject lines
  • Use graphics, photos and videos
  • Repurpose content across multiple platforms
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Plan “It”: Small Business “It” Series
Date: January 24, 2017 | 12:00 pm PST – 1:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: Business Impact NW
Fee: Free

In this workshop you will learn all about Business Model Canvas: a strategic visual and organizational tool that can be used to develop a new business model or document an existing one. This innovative approach helps business executives see the relationships between different segments of their business and identify hidden opportunities or risks. Bring your business ideas and be ready for a hands-on class.

Click here to register for this event.

For more information on the Plan “It” series of workshops (live in Washington state and available globally via webinar), click here.


We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org