When Eric Torres landed Florida Medical Clinic as a client for his Tampa-based marketing agency Brandiversity, he wanted to add capacity by hiring additional staff to service the large healthcare company. With a loan from Opportunity Fund/Lending Club, Torres quickly ramped up by hiring 2.5 new employees, and opening a two-person office in Orlando.  

It’s all about timing. Helping small businesses gain access capital when it’s time to grow. That’s what our expanding partnership with Lending Club is now doing in states across the U.S.

As the nation’s leading nonprofit small business lender, we partnered with Lending Club, the world’s largest online credit marketplace, to serve many more small business owners looking for a responsible and responsive source of capital when it’s the right time for their businesses to grow. Through this partnership, Lending Club brings its best-in-class platform designed to attract and serve online borrowers and Opportunity Fund brings our expertise serving small business owners and entrepreneurs, offering responsible loans along with advice and support.

Responsive Lending for Business Owners

When Eric Torres, principal at Tampa-based Brandiversity – a full service advertising and marketing agency in Florida’s Tri-Counties area – landed Florida Medical Clinic as a client, he wanted to add capacity by hiring additional staff to service the large healthcare company. With a loan from Opportunity Fund/Lending Club, Torres quickly ramped up by hiring 2.5 new employees, and opening a two-person office in Orlando.

“I launched Brandiversity in 2016 because increasingly I saw that my clients here in Florida needed help reaching diverse populations with their marketing platforms. We help our clients navigate global opportunities and tailor campaigns and outreach with great results,” said Torres, who has years of experience in advertising and marketing.

With clients in the robust service industries that fuel Florida’s economy, business owners like Torres are often faced with proverbial “chicken or egg” decisions. When opportunities arise to grow their business, they need access to capital from lenders who have a track record for responsible, responsive lending.

“Working with entrepreneurs when they have an opportunity to grow their businesses is rewarding,” added Miguel Cerda, the Opportunity Fund Loan Advisor who worked with Eric Torres. “In many cases, borrowers are seeking capital to hire more employees. Our investment has a multiplier effect in local communities.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s small businesses employed 3.1 million people, or 43.2% of the private workforce in 2013. Those businesses make up 98.9 percent of all employers in the state. Opportunity Fund’s expansion in partnership with Lending Club allows us to respond to the growing needs of entrepreneurs in states like Florida, where economic opportunity directly translates to economic development.

“My experience with Opportunity Fund was very positive,” Torres added. “The application and funding process was simple and I had the capital I needed to respond quickly to a new client opportunity.”

By 2020 Opportunity Fund plans to invest $400 million in over 10,000 small businesses nationwide.

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. In fiscal year ‘16, 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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Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 17 through July 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from July 17 through July 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Mean Business
Date: July 18, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Renaissance SOMA
275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Join the Renaissance Entrepreneurship center for this networking event where women entrepreneurs will share their journeys of starting and growing their own San Francisco-based jewelry businesses. Enjoy an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a panel discussion, followed by facilitated networking. Entry fee includes light dinner.

Click here to register for this event.

Success with Facebook Ads
Date: July 19, 2017 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: Angelique Gosse | angelique.gosse@sfgov.org | (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

During this workshop you will learn the best practices for achieving success and creating leads through Facebook Ads.

This class is designed for intermediate Facebook Ad users. Please prepare the following prerequisites before attending the seminar to get the most out of your time with us:

  • Install Facebook Pixel on your business website (Get started here)
  • Create an Ad manager Facebook account for your business Facebook page (Get started here)
  • Prepare and bring a current email client list with first name, last name, and email address
  • Prepare and bring 5-10 Images and/or video

Bring your laptop and get ready to learn! Click here to register for this event.

How to Repair or Build Your Credit
Date: July 19, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, California 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: $15

Credit can be an incredible asset or a heavy burden, depending on how you use it. Your credit history is an important factor in access to capital for your business.
Join this workshop and learn:

  • Why and how to build your credit
  • How to get free credit reports
  • What makes a good credit score
  • Why you want to file taxes and show some profit
  • What NOT to do if you want a high credit score

Click here or call (503) 926-6670 to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Grow Your Business: You’ve Survived, Now Thrive
Date: July 22, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: United States University
7675 Mission Valley Rd. San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20

SCORE’s Grow Your Business is an informal conversation between you and our team of qualified executives, experts in the areas of sales, marketing, finance, management, and more. The session is designed to help small business owners take their enterprise to the next level.

This discussion will address the needs and concerns of our audience. Instead of SCORE “guessing” at what the audience would like to hear, you are encouraged to bring your questions or concerns. We also encourage attendees to share their own experiences and/or solutions to questions addressed.

Click here to register for this event.

SBA Day and Lender Fair in Vista
Date: July 26, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Vista Civic Center
200 Civic Center Dr. Vista, CA 92084 (map it)
Contact: Maria Hughes | Maria.hughes@sba.gov | (619) 727-4871
Organizations: SBA San Diego District Office and Vista Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

The SBA San Diego District Office and the Vista Chamber of Commerce are hosting an SBA Day event and Lender Fair on Wednesday, July 26th.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the main program and presentations from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m:

  • California small business permits and taxes—Presented by California Board of Equalization
  • Legal aspects of being in business—Presented by a local attorney
  • Overview of the new I-9 form and filing procedures—Presented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Cyber Security Tips—Presented by TBD
  • Our Resource Partners Can Help You Succeed in Your Business—Presented by representatives from SCORE, the Small Business Development Center, the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, and others

The Lender Fair, networking, and one-on-one Counseling will follow presentations until 2 p.m.

Coffee and light breakfast will be available. Optional lunch is available for $5 fee, payable at registration.

Click here to register for this event. Registration is required to attend.

Marketing for Restaurants
Date: July 27, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: West Valley BusinessSource Center
18645 Sherman Wy. #114 Reseda, CA 91335 (map it)
Contact: Irene Vazquez | ivazquez@vedc.org | (818) 705-9977
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Restaurateurs hear a lot of conflicting ideas about restaurant promotions. Join this free workshop to learn how to grow your business from the ground up.

Get information on these key strategies:

  • Avoid promotional ideas that might devalue your restaurant
  • Avoid unsustainable expectations from customers like getting food at half price
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using LinkedIn to Grow your Business
Date: July 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: marketingscore24@gmail.com | (973) 442-6400
Organization: Northwest New Jersey SCORE
Fee: Free

Join Northwest New Jersey SCORE for this webinar and get the most out of LinkedIn for your small business:

  • Build your professional network on LinkedIn
  • Gather intelligence and data on your prospects and customers
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Become the authoritative resource in your market segment
  • Generate new sales leads

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Overview
Date: July 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Melissa Terrell | mterrell@theinstitutenc.org | (919) 956-2335
Organization: Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
Fee: Free

Join the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina for this webinar where you’ll learn the key elements of a successful business plan. Get answers to your questions on why you need a good business plan and how to get started.

The webinar will cover:

  • Outline your plan
  • Craft a mission statement
  • Analyze the market and the industry
  • Create a financial plan
  • Locate resources

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing With Google Tools
Date: July 19, 2017| 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: njsbdcnb@business.rutgers.edu | (848) 445-8790
Organization: NJSBDC at Rutgers – New Brunswick
Fee: Free

The webinar covers three features of Google Tools to market and grow a business online:

  • Be found by local customers—How to connect with local searchers using Google My Business, a free local business listing that can help your business appear across Google Search and Maps
  • Be found everywhere, on all devices—How to optimize your website for the organic search results, focusing on making your site mobile-friendly
  • Be found with online advertising—How to promote your products and services on Google and partner websites.

Click here to register for this event. After completing your registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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. In fiscal year ‘16, 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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 16 through May 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 16 through May 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Empowering Women Business Owners: Inspiration – How To Get It And Keep It
Date: May 19, 2017 | 12:30 pm PST – 2:00 pm PST
Location: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: SFOmail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

With all the advancements for women in business over the last several decades we have much to celebrate, but we also have a long road ahead. Inspiration is the key ingredient.

The empowerment of women in business is critical to the success of the overall economic fabric of our communities. This workshop will provide you with critical information you can put to use in your business endeavors immediately following the session.

Two of San Francisco’s most admired business women, Gwen Kaplan and Emily Wirowek, will share ‘real-world’ challenges and inspirations and ‘real-life’ solutions to propel your business forward as the leaders of this seminar. Now is the time to be inspired!

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business IT Best Practices
Date: May 24, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: East Bay SCORE @ Cal State Center East Bay
1000 Broadway Suite 109 Oakland, CA 94607 (map it)
Contact: info@eastbayscore.org | (510) 273-6611
Organization: SCORE East Bay
Fee: $35

Organizations that embrace and leverage technology have a significant competitive advantage.  A modern business integrates technology with business processes to deliver security, control data, improve productivity, and quickly resolve issues.

In this seminar, you’ll learn best practices for future-proofing your organization’s IT including:

  • Risk Mitigation
  • Data Governance
  • Productivity
  • Maintenance & Support

Click here to register for this event.

SCORE Content Marketing Workshop
Date: May 25, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: 801 R St. Suite 201 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Chunny Boosa | chunny.boosa@scorevolunteer.org | (559) 492-9709
Organization: Central Valley SCORE
Fee: Free

You’ve heard of “Location, Location, Location” for real estate. For online marketing, it’s “Content, Content, Content!”

In this seminar, you’ll learn the building blocks of great content that engages customers:

  • The words: what to say and the way you say it (tone, date & time, frequency)
  • Audience engagement: attract, engage, and encourage sharing
  • Structure and tools: how to make content creation fast, easy, and effective
  • Content management made easy: time-saving tips, techniques, and apps to boost your content
  • Writing for different platforms: better email subject lines and repurposing content the right way
  • Visual aids: images, graphics, videos, and much more

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Transform Your Business
Date: May 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: 77806 Flora Rd. Suite A Palm Desert, CA 92211 (map it)
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org | (760) 345-9200
Organization: Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

During this highly interactive and insightful workshop, you’ll discover how consistently attracting high-quality clients and relentless money management is the real keys to profitability. You’ll also learn that proper planning and energy utilization is the foundation of a balanced work and personal life. And, perhaps most important of you’ll find out and appreciate just what it is that you truly love about your transformed business.

Click here to register for this event.

Murrieta-Area Business Roundtable
Date: May 17, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Murrieta Innovation Center
26442 Beckman Ct. Murrieta, CA 92562 (map it)
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: Free

Come join business leaders and guest speakers in a great networking opportunities at a business roundtable meeting. This is a wonderful way to meet other business owners and discuss important topics crucial to the success of your business. Don’t miss out on this great networking opportunity.

Click here to register for this event.

Snapchat for Business
Date: May 17, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: Inglewood Public Library—Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall
101 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood, CA 90301 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cinseros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization:  SBDC hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks of the decade. Since its inception in 2011, it has grown to 8 billion daily video views (head to head with Facebook) and 100+ million daily active users.

This platform is a content and storytelling haven. With an engaged user base, Snapchat delivers a marketing channel for the fast pace world we live in. As its user base continues to skyrocket, there is ample opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the attention on Snapchat. Brands like Taco Bell, Burberry, Sephora, Amazon and even Presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders are using it and seeing impactful results.

This interactive Snapchat for business class will provide step by step guidance:

  • How to navigate Snapchat: basic functionality
  • How to create content and build your tribe
  • How to develop a content strategy
  • How to repurpose your Snapchat content for other platforms
  • How to build a cross promotion strategy and plan of action for your business

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Time Management: Maximize Profitability, Achieve More by Doing Less
Date: May 16, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

The demands that take you away from focusing on your most important work cost you time, money and stress. Some research has found that with the many interruptions in our schedule on a daily basis, we lose 28% productivity! That equates to almost one full day a week!

The models discussed in this webinar are designed to assist busy professionals with organization, prioritization, and narrowing their focus to achieve more and take back their time allowing more time with themselves, family and friends.

Click here to register for this event.

How and Why You Should Track Your Cash Flow Weekly
Date: May 18, 2017| 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Managing your cash flow can be a stressful endeavor for small business owners. But you don’t need an accounting degree to track this key metric.

In this webinar, you will learn the fundamentals of cash flow management, including how to:

  • Develop a cash flow budget on your own
  • Use the budget to make critical business decisions
  • Forecast the future of your business with more certainty

Click here to register for this event.

Can Your Business Keep Up with Today’s Customer?
Date: May 30, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

As social and mobile technologies change, businesses and customers interact differently. Customers are more sophisticated and knowledgeable than ever, but many small businesses don’t know how to adapt and keep up.

Join Laurie McCabe, six-time Small Business Influencer Award winner and Cofounder at SMB Group for this seminar where you will to learn:

  • Customer expectations: how and why they’re changing
  • Implications and challenges for small businesses
  • Tactics for sales, marketing, and service: keep pace with your customers

And more!

Click here to register for this event.

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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 1 through May 15.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 1 through May 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

National Small Business Week: Grow Your Business Online Workshop
Date: May 1, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: 801 R St. Suite 201 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Chunny Boosa | chunny.boosa@scorevolunteer.org | (559) 492-9709
Organization: Central Valley SCORE
Fee: Free

Learn the basics of how customers find your business online and how to promote your online presence with methods like search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. We also introduce tools to help you run your business online, including Google Analytics and Google Apps for Work.

Click here to register for this event.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center Presents: Business Basics Seminar
Date: May 11, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: Veterans Business Outreach Center
4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free for VBOC clients | $49 for non-VBOC clients: register here

This training is designed for individuals interested in starting a business or currently in business for two or less years. Course includes business evaluation, market research, licensing and permit requirements, start-up cost, financing sources, insurance, cash flow analysis, legal structure, self-employment analysis, cash management, customer profile, protecting your business idea, and the reality of operating a business.

VBOC members can register for this event here. Non-VBOC members can register here.

Business Accounting
Date: May 12, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: Diablo Valley College Humanities Building Room H119 (adjacent to Parking Lot 7)
321 Golf Club Rd. Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (map it)
Contact: info@eastbayscore.org | (510) 273-6611
Organization: SCORE East Bay
Fee: $35

Financial management, including management of the inflow and outflow of money, is critical to the effective operation of any business.

In this class, we will learn and discuss:

  • Financial management concepts
  • Setting up and managing your accounts
  • Understanding the usefulness of financial reports
  • Essential financial tasks
  • Using QuickBooks templates

The course is taught by a SCORE counselor with over 40 years experience in financial management of organizations ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Workshop fee includes FREE download of our 17 chapter guide “How to Start & Manage your Small Business”.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

City of Azusa Small Business Week – Social Media Marketing
Date: May 3, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: Azusa Woman’s Club
1003 North Azusa Ave. Azusa, CA 91702 (map it)
Contact: (909) 448-1567
Organization: SBDC hosted by University of La Verne
Fee: Free

In this workshop you will learn key how-to lessons:

  • How to use Social Media Marketing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for business
  • How to use SEO for Mobile Marketing Success
  • How to promote your online presence

Click here to register for this event.

Women in Business Breakfast Series – 5 Secrets to Bust Your Burnout
Date: May 5, 2017 | 7:30 am PST – 10:30 am PST
Location: The Center Club
650 Town Center Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (map it)
Contact: Iris McCammon | wib@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $35.00 advance registration before May 3, 2017 | $40 after May 3, 2017 and at the door (cash or check only)

Ever feel like you have entrepreneurial ADD? As business owners we find ourselves buried in more paperwork and “to do” lists than we can handle. It can cause us to spin our wheels, being forever busy, yet not productive. However, that does not have to be the case!

Join Dr. Elisa Magill as she shares stories of successful business owners and uncovers a formula to help you change your own perceptions, mindset, and belief systems. Let us help you set a strong foundation to be your own best leader!

Register Today and Learn How To:

 

  • Go from Distraction-to-Action: Double, triple, and 10X your business
  • Eliminate overwhelm and burnout
  • Develop new perceptions and belief systems
  • Discover new possibilities and entrepreneurial out-of-the-box thinking
  • Live life by design! Not default. Find more time for YOU!


Click here to register for this event.

2017 Free Asian Business Seminar
Date: May 10, 2017 | 8:30 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: New STC Center
1040 South Otterbein Ave. Rowland Heights, CA 91748 (map it)
Contact: marketing@stcmanagement.com | (562) 695 1513 Ext. 117
Organization:  San Gabriel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Are you in the restaurant business? Are you an entrepreneur? Are you a small business owner? When you have a question, do you know where to find out your answers? If you say yes to any of the above questions, this seminar is for you! You will be talking face to face to the people who set and enforce the rules. Find your answers here!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less
Date: May 4, 2017 | 12:30 pm PST – 1:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organizations: U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE
Fee: Free

Struggling to find the words, images and the right calls-to-action that make the biggest impact with your email marketing?

With just about 15 minutes and an easy-to-follow formula, you can kick writer’s block to the curb and be confident that you’ll know exactly what to say to create an effective email marketing message.

Join us for a free workshop where you will receive:

  • A worksheet to help you write your marketing email in 15 minutes or less
  • Advice on how to use your writing worksheet
  • A guide on keeping your email marketing focused on your business goals
  • A simple checklist to reference before you hit send
  • An opportunity to ask questions and interact with our workshop presenters

Click here to register for this event.

Patents, Trademarks, & Copyrights Webinar
Date: May 4, 2017| 6:00 pm PST – 7:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org
Organization: Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Fee: $10

Want to know how to protect your business’s intellectual property? This webinar will show you how! Discover what is considered an intellectual property of your business and the steps you need to take to protect them. Learn key concepts:

  • How to tell the difference between a trademark and copyright
  • How copyrights can produce income
  • How a patent can protect your business

Click here to register for this event.

Promote Your Business with AdWords Express
Date: May 11, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Did you know that 97% of consumers research products online before purchasing, and 89% of consumers use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions?

It’s important that your business appears on the search results page when potential customers are looking for you.

Join us as we introduce you to advertising on Google and show you how to promote your business online.

Click here to register for this event.


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

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from April 18 through April 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from April 18 through April 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance Fundamentals
Date: April 20, 2017 | 3:30 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6777
Organization: Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Come learn about the newly enacted San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance, requiring employers to provide paid leave for new parents.

Topics include:

  • Who is covered
  • Employer responsibilities
  • How to apply
  • How to calculate benefit amount
  • Interaction with related state and federal law
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Disruption Recovery Plan for Your Business
Date: April 27, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: NEC SBDC at Butte College
202 Mira Loma, Oroville CA 95965 (map it)
Contact: Sophie Konuwa | konuwaso@butte.edu | (530) 895-9017
Organization: Northeastern California SBDC
Fee: Free

These are the times! With upswings in cyberattacks, and natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricane, business continuity planing has suddenly moved to the front of the line as more businesses are being forced to complete their disaster recovery plans.

This training will help you complete a workable plan that you and your employees can easily follow and visit regularly to ensure usefulness, relax from the stress of unplanned activities that cause your profit to drop, teach you how to complete a plan to address your business operation for disruption, and prepare you for funding when available.

To register for this event, click here.

10 Best Practices for Business Success on Facebook & Twitter
Date: April 27, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

In this class, you will learn how Facebook and Twitter work, best practices, success stories from other businesses who are winning it, and tools to save you time. Connect the dots from social media to sales! This class is part of a series called “Social Media and Online Marketing Made Simple.”

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Leveraging Video Marketing to Engage Your Target Audience, Drive Traffic, and Generate Leads
Date: April 18, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: United States University
7675 Mission Valley Road San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20

Nearly all business owners understand the need to have a digital or online presence. But did you know:

  • Online video has increased 8-fold in the past 5 years
  • Video content is shared 1200% more often on Facebook alone than traditional posts or graphics
  • The average website visitor will stay 5 times longer on a site with video
  • Nearly 80% of consumers say watching online videos influence their decision making

Other than face-to-face meetings, video is by far the strongest connection you can make with your target audience. This workshop goes far beyond simple video production to helping your videos reach your audience and engage them. You will learn key skills and strategies like:

 

  • Essential research in pre-production
  • Basic equipment to start on a small budget
  • Scripting your videos for greatest impact and conversion
  • Optimizing videos to rank and be found on Google, YouTube, and major social media channels
  • Social video marketing vs. search
  • Live video streaming
  • Copywriting and creating a video Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • Lead generation with video
  • Video data and analytics: measuring your video campaigns


Click here to register for this event.

An EZ Trip Through Your Financial Statements
Date: April 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 9:00 pm PST
Location: Orange Public Library
407 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to know where financial statements come from and how to make them work for you, this workshop is for you. The session includes basic accounting principles and an interactive case study where you’ll learn about the following tools and skills to create a healthy, profitable business:

  • Balance sheets
  • Income statement
  • Cash flow
  • Ratio analysis

Click here to register for this event.

Business Communications
Date: April 26, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: 6160 Van Nuys Blvd  Van Nuys, CA 91401 (map it)
Contact: (818) 894-8800
Organization: ICON CDC
Fee: Free

This workshop will help you develop and refine your brand and practice your sales pitch. This training will give everybody the opportunity to practice their pitch before the SFV Marketplace event on May 2.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Process Improvement & Working Smarter
Date: April 18, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 3:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: Women’s Business Center
Contact: Martha Ocasio | mocasio@thecentre.org | (813) 251-8437
Organization: The Helen Gordon David Centre for Women
Fee: Free

How do you improve the work processes in your office or small business? This class focuses on applying “lean” process improvement to add efficiencies to your business and improve your bottom line potential. You’ll learn ideas to make your work processes flow better, faster, and cheaper, plus problem solving and identifying “value added” activities.

“Lean” thinking applies to any business process, regardless of your industry. In many cases, this can result in improved customer service, saved labor, better inventory control, and reduction of expenses.

Click here to register for this event.

Radio Show: Business Basics VEDC
Date: April 20, 2017| 5:00 pm PST -5:30 pm PST
Location: Radio show on KKVV Las Vegas (Nev.)
Organization: VEDC Nevada Business Opportunity Fund
Fee: Free

Do you want to become an ENTREPRENEUR? Need FUNDING for your business? Have questions about MANAGING your business? Tune into “Business Basics VEDC Radio Show” on KKVV Radio 1060AM at 5:00pm to listen and learn about the basics of being a business owner. Listen via LIVE stream at www.kkvv.com.

Click here to register for this event.

Get Found on Google Search and Maps
Date: April 26, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

It’s important your business’ information appears correctly when people search online. Did you know:

  • 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local info like business hours and directions
  • Businesses with complete listings (with updated photos and hours of operations) are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers
  • 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine

This workshop will explain how to setup Google My Business as your one-stop-shop for managing your business info as it appears across Google Search and Maps. Your potential customers will find important info for your business like your phone numbers, hours of operation, and driving directions.

Click here to register for this event.


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

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 marketing 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 marketing resources.

Marketing is vital to growing a business. In today’s digital world, it isn’t enough to rely on street traffic. Marketing your small business has expanded to include social media, blogging, email, online ads, and many other electronic methods. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you attract and retain customers to your small business.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: If you have a smartphone, you should check out Google’s new Primer app. As a small business owner, time is precious. Primer is an easy-to-read, completely free resource for learning how to market your business. It offers topics such as advertising, content creation, business strategy, and success measurement. These five-minute lessons will help you grow your business without breaking the bank on a specialized marketing team or spending hours trying to figure out marketing techniques from scratch.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Smartsheet offers a dozen free Excel templates that you can download for free. Among the different templates, you can find digital marketing, monthly marketing budget, social media editorial calendar, competitive analysis, and other templates that will help you organize your business. Creating a marketing strategy is important for growing and engaging with your small business’ audience, and using Excel spreadsheets is an easy way to effectively manage that strategy.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Advertising costs money, and small businesses like yours don’t have extensive marketing budgets like big corporations do. One way to compete for local business is through offering deals online through services like Living Social. How it works is that you work with Living Social to create an offer for customers. When someone purchases your deal, Living Social takes a small percentage for marketing your offer and pays you the rest. This is a great opportunity for small business to attract local customers without paying up-front costs unless you make a sale. Living Social also offers a free ebook for marketing basics.

 

How much it costs: Free with premium plans starting at $29 a month

What it does: If your business posts to social media—which it should—then you have probably shared links to other websites. The problem with this is that you might lose your potential customer if they don’t visit your website after checking out the link. Sniply offers a unique, easy-to-use tool that pops up a customizable button that visitors see when they visit a web page you link to. This helps drive traffic to your business’ website and increase sales opportunities. The free plan supports 1,000 clicks a month, and offers valuable tracking and analytics.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This resource is two-in-one — or a ten-in-one if you prefer! We have created two other lists of five free online tools that will help you market your small business. The two biggest aspects of digital marketing involve email and social media. Take a look at each blog post for marketing tools for scheduling newsletters, reaching out to customers, creating effective social media posts, expanding your target audience, and more.

 

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

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

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 December.

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 December.

Northern California/Sacramento

Workforce Development Symposium to Assist Small Businesses Grow and Succeed
Date: December 2, 2016 | 10:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 1001 Davis Street San Leandro, CA 94577 (map it)
Contact: 925-216-0939
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Alameda County Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the California Small Business Association, presents a Workforce Development Symposium to assist businesses grow and succeed. Join us to hear from key small business organizations like Alameda County Workforce Development Board, Alameda County Business Development Group, Small Business Development Center of Alameda County, GO BIZ – Governor’s Office for Regional/Statewide assistance with your business, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and more!

Please RSVP your attendance by calling or texting 925-216-0939. Click here to register for this event.

Renaissance Women’s Networking Event
Date: December 14, 2016 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Capital One Cafe
101 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94108 (map it)
Contact: Kareen Boncales | kboncales@rencenter.org | 415-348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Join Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center for an evening of fun, storytelling and connecting with inspiring women business owners! Catch Kyra Reed of Markyr Digital bringing her unique and fresh social-first approach to brand marketing and digital strategy as the guest speaker at this event. For her work spearheading the revitalization of the iconic Roxy Theater and Sunset Strip in Los Angeles entertainment district, she was named a ‘Social Media Pioneer,’ by Entrepreneur Magazine. In this role, she has one of the most prominent social media case studies to date. Her work has been featured in top tier media outlets including TechCrunch, The New York Times and NPR. Light dinner will be provided. Don’t miss this exciting event!

To register for this event, click here.

Writing a Compelling Business Plan
Date: December 8, 2016 | 1:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Cal State Center East Bay
1000 Broadway Suite 109 Oakland, CA, 94607 (map it)
Contact: info@eastbayscore.org | 510-273-6611
Organization: East Bay SCORE
Fee: $40

Learn the key requirements to write a compelling business plan.  Every successful business start-up or expansion needs a plan, and this workshop helps transform great ideas into well thought-out written business roadmaps. Join East Bay SCORE’s workshop where you will learn why a business plan is important, how to evaluate your key strengths and incorporate them in your plan, and what subjects need to be covered in the plan and how they should be presented, including the executive summary and marketing financial basics.

Get first-hand instruction from SCORE professionals Jim Cogan & Jim Carlson, who are ready to share their many years of business planning experience with you. The $40 workshop Fee Includes a FREE download of SCORE’s 17 chapter guide “How to Start & Manage your Small Business”.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

So I’ve Started My Business…. Now What?
Date: December 10, 2016 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Pasadena City College, Room 122
3035 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91107 (map it)
Contact: 562-938-5020
Organization: SBDC Hosted By Pasadena City College
Fee: $25

The goal of this session is to help entrepreneurs either get on track or get back on track with their business. Whether they are dissatisfied with the initial performance of their business or wondering what to do next, this workshop will address their concerns.

So you have started your business. Let’s confirm your readiness and capacity level by revisiting a few core basics that are critical to developing a successful launch and operational strategy for your business. Are you ready?

Click here to register for this event.

De-Mystifying Financial Statements
Date: December 14, 2016 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 13430 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cisneros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | 310-973-3177
Organization: SBDC Hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Each business decision you make has a financial impact on your business. Understand and use the right tools to optimize results. Learn to use your basic financial statements and other key measurements to improve your decision making, interpret your company’s financial signals using ratios, and gain a “Plain English” understanding of basic business terminology. Learn to communicate with financial people and investors to attract capital for growth.

Click here to register for this event.

Federal and State Basic Payroll Tax Seminar
Date: December 14, 2016 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: PACE Business Development Center
1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org | 213-353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

This workshop will cover both Federal and California payroll tax reporting requirements, reporting forms, employer obligations, payment requirements, and independent contractor reporting requirements.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Workplace Benefits & High Road Employer Practices for California Small Businesses
Date: December 7, 2016 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Rhea Aguinaldo
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Join the US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Region 9 and Small Business Majority for a webinar about high-road employer practices, including equal pay, paid leave and a host of workplace benefits programs and policies.

Topics will include Equal Pay – why more companies are taking the White House Equal Pay Pledge and how it’s critical to communicate effectively about compensation to employees and customers, the California Fair Pay Act – what it means for small business , Covered California for Small Business, California’s Paid Family Leave Program and new paid sick days law , business benefits of high-road workplace benefits policies, and more! A question and answer period will follow.

Click here to register for this event.

Risk management for your business
Date: December 8, 2016 | 10:30 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Larry Batten | larry.batten@sba.gov | 304-623-7447
Organization: SBA
Fee: Free

Mitigating risk in your small business is essential for business success. Good risk management planning allows you to see and plan for problems before they happen. Join the SBA and SCORE for this important free seminar.

Click here to register for this event.

Payroll Tax & Business Online Tutorials
Date: On demand
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: State of California Employment Development Department
Fee: Free

The Employment Development Department (EDD) offers no-fee state payroll tax training, both classroom-based seminars and online tutorials. Both are designed to help employers comply with the state payroll tax laws. Review the selection of classroom seminars which are offered in a variety of locations throughout California.

The online tutorials, on the other hand, allow you to learn on your timetable, at your own pace, wherever you choose to access the Internet. Topics include e-Services for Business Tutorials, Employment Status Tutorials, and Payroll Tax Deposit (DE 88/DE 88ALL) Coupon Tutorials.

Click here to access the tutorials.


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

Small Business Saturday is a special day dedicated to supporting small businesses like yours. The day after Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the surge of holiday shopping and boost your sales. Read more for some easy tips to help you prepare for the start of the holiday season.

Small Business Saturday is a special day dedicated to supporting small businesses like yours. The day after Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the surge of holiday shopping and boost your sales. Read more for some easy tips to help you prepare for the start of the holiday season.

For the past six years, small businesses have been celebrating their own version of Black Friday. Joining in Small Business Saturday as a marketing strategy has been very successful at bringing in sales and new customers who want to buy local and support their communities.

Whether you sell artisan gifts, run a restaurant or cafe, provide daycare services, or style people’s hair, taking advantage of Small Business Saturday will be beneficial to growing your small business. All industries can benefit. After all, tired shoppers need somewhere to take a lunch break!

These tips will help you prepare for Small Business Saturday

  1. Take a look at last year’s sales for Black Friday weekend. Doing this simple step will help you better prepare for Small Business Saturday so you don’t overestimate or under prepare for this year. You don’t want to find yourself understaffed during a big rush or paying for holiday marketing that doesn’t bring in enough customers.
  2. Planning early saves money. If you put off holiday preparations, you are more stressful. This can lower your productivity, increase the chance of something getting forgotten, and potentially cost you money for last-minute purchases. It’s much cheaper to order holiday marketing materials and decorations when your vendors don’t need to rush your order.
  3. Consider hiring holiday help. If your business is especially busy during the holidays and need extra help, make sure to hire and train them before Small Business Saturday. If they are trained before the big rush of Black Friday weekend, you will also be able to better serve the early shoppers! Hiring temporary workers will alleviate the stress of the holidays, and you’ll be able to spend more time with your family.
  4. Have a Small Business Saturday sale. Your small business may not be able to offer deep discounts like big chains can for Black Friday, but small discounts or coupons will improve sales. Everyone likes a good deal! Emphasize the urgency of your limited time offer to push potential customers that last inch.
  5. Start promoting now. Posting on your Facebook page the week of Small Business Saturday isn’t going to help much. Start queuing up your social media posts, reaching out to local shopping bloggers for a feature, and advertising your Small Business Saturday sales now. This will reach a wider audience and remind people to come support you on Small Business Saturday before they already make plans.
  6. Keep a countdown. Whether you mark the days down to Small Business Saturday on social media or in your place of business, remind customers of the upcoming sales during the whole month of November. Getting involved in the Small Business Saturday hype will spread awareness to new customers and entice them to come back!
  7. Stock up on inventory and supplies. There’s nothing more discouraging to a customer than finding out that what they want is out of stock. Calculate how much additional stock you’ll need to meet demand from previous years’ performance. This includes leasing additional equipment. Order early so everything arrives on time. If you need a loan to make sure you have the working capital you need for the holidays, contact us today for fast, easy-to-get loans.

 

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

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 November.

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 November.

Northern California/Sacramento

Healthy Employees, Healthy Bottom Line Workshop
Date: November 9, 2016 | 9:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Contra Costa SBDC – 2nd Floor
300 Ellinwood Way Pleasant Hill. CA 94523 (map it)
Contact: Rhea Aguinaldo | raguinaldo@smallbusinessmajority.org | 415-654-4846
Organization: Small Business Majority & Contra Costa SBDC
Fee: Free

Small business owners spend their days concentrating on their particular specialty, but there’s one thing they have in common: they all have to contend with a host of similar workforce issues. Join Contra Costa Small Business Development Center and Small Business Majority for a workshop on a variety of workforce and healthcare laws as they pertain to small businesses, including paid sick days, paid family leave, and Covered California for Small Business.

Topics include Covered California for Small Business—online health insurance marketplace where small businesses and the self-employed can shop for health coverage for their needs and budget; California’s Paid Family Leave Program—employer obligations, employee eligibility requirements; California’s new paid sick days law; and tools and resources to help you navigate the new laws. A question and answer portion will follow.

Click here to register for this event.

La Cocina’s Food + Entrepreneurship Conference
Date: November 13 & 14, 2016 | 9:00 am PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: San Francisco
Contact: Aniela Valtierra | aniela@lacocinasf.org | 415-824-2729 x 309
Organization: La Cocina
Fee: $50 – $200 (scholarships are available – Please see below for more information. Application deadline is November 7)

For the past 5 years, the Food + Entrepreneurship Conference has been a gathering place for civic leaders, nonprofit innovators, and forward thinking food business owners to come together, rethink economic structures, share innovations and work together to build more equitable, vibrant and delicious cities. Leaders and innovators from as close as Oakland to as far as Helsinki have looked to La Cocina throughout the years to engage in dialogue and revolutionize the way we produce, eat, and think about food.

This year, La Cocina’s Food + Entrepreneurship Conference, presented by Whole Foods Market, will kick off on Sunday, November 13th with a full day of conversations, workshops, and food with a focus on how small businesses can be activists for change in their communities. On Monday, November 14th, we’ll be hosting guided walking tours (with plenty of eats!) to experience food entrepreneurship on the ground.

To see what we’ll be discussing at the conference, and who will be speaking, have a look at the Conference Schedule.

Food Producer Scholarships: We also have a scholarship fund for producers, which is good for the Sunday Conference Program. So if you think you’d really benefit from attending the conference but can’t quite afford it, please do send in a scholarship application form.  We are reviewing scholarship applications weekly, and will respond to you accordingly. The last date to apply is November 7th.

For more information or to buy tickets for the event, click here.

Buying or Selling a Small Business
Date: November 14, 2016 | 9:30 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Silicon Valley SCORE
234 E. Gish Road, Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | 408-453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45; Free for veterans (see below)

Learn how to buy the right business cheap….or sell it high! This is a class for anyone who wants to buy or sell a business and doesn’t know where to start. Two highly experienced business brokers teach this class and they really know their stuff. Anyone who wants to know about evaluating a business’s value or wants to know how to be sure they are buying value should take this class. The course will cover valuation, what kinds of records you need to review, and the legal overview of a business transaction.

Click here to register for this event. Veterans: Free admission is available for this class. Click here for details.

Southern California/San Diego

Small Business Development Center Orientation
Date: November 1, 2016 | 1:30 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: San Diego SBDC
880 National City Blvd., Suite 103, National City CA 91950-3263 (map it)
Contact: sdsbdc@swccd.edu | 619-482-6391
Organization: San Diego and Imperial Valley SBDC
Fee: Free

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a myriad of services for the start-up and existing business owner at “No Cost” or “Low Cost”. The one-on-one business consulting services are non-fee based and designed to assist in the formulation and management of your business. The workshops and classes cover a variety of business interest topics and most are no cost to the SBDC client. The SBDC mission is to assist small business owners to start and grow their business.

Click here to register for this event.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business—Information Session
Date: November 2, 2016 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: We Work, the Gas Company Tower
555 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 (map it)
Contact: Catalina Aldridge | 213-580-7590
Organization: Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Have you secretly desired to learn how to take your business to the next level? With Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, you can gain practical business skills and tools to help accelerate that growth. Through professional workshops, you will learn from some of the brightest minds in business. Learn about access to financial capital and build a powerful network of professional support. If accepted into this national program with near 100 percent completion, program tuition will be at no cost to you!

If you are a business owner that is passionate about building greater success, join us for this information session. Your invitation will give you access to previewing the program, hear from an instructor, and learn how to apply for this exclusive network of business owners from around the nation. Opportunity Fund Regional Director Iosefa Alofaituli is scheduled to appear at the event.

For more information about the Goldman Sachs program, click here. Download the information flyer for the information session here: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Business Resource Seminar & Expo
Date: November 9, 2016 | 8:00 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Ventura College Wright Event Center
57 Day Road Ventura, CA 93003 (map it)
Contact: Xiomara Peña
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

The Board of Equalization invites you to join this business expo full of strategies for success in today’s economy. Topics will cover: the power of the chamber of commerce, avoiding common sales and tax problems, forms of ownership, recordkeeping for small businesses, employee or independent contractor status, loan programs, and much more. Our So. Cal. Outreach Manager will be presenting on the importance of planning for retirement and complying with workforce regulation including CA’s new Paid Sick Day Law and Paid Family Leave.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Money Now, Money Later: ABCs of Financing Your Small Business and Building Your Retirement
Date: November 8, 2016 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Geri Agilpay
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Small Business Majority invites you to join us for a free webinar to help you navigate the funding landscape and finance the growth of your small business. We will focus on microloans, crowdfunding, online lenders, and guarding against predatory lending. Growing your business also means securing your finances, so we will provide an overview of common retirement paths for small business owners and their employees.

Topics of discussion include an overview of alternative lending options including microloans and reputable online lenders, questions for entrepreneurs to consider when seeking funding, The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, the U.S. retirement savings gap and how small business can be part of the solution, and much more. A question and answer period will follow.

Click here to register for this event.

Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Date: November 17, 2016 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: sbc@durhamtech.edu |919-536-7241
Organization: Small Business Center Network
Fee: Free

Learn how to create a marketing strategy that supports your business goals. This seminar will cover some of the best marketing tools that are free or at a very low-cost and explore creative ways to promote your business without breaking the bank or your budget. Taught by Melissa Terrell of Women’s Business Center.

Click here to register for this event.

Veteran Entrepreneurship
Date: November 30, 2016 | 5:30 pm PDT – 6:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Amber Lopez | sdbc@canyons.edu | 661-362-5900
Organization: SBDC Los Angeles
Fee: Free

The session will highlight entrepreneurship as an option to generate income and cash flow.  Participants will be introduced to resources to help with the next step in starting or growing your business, or transitioning from current activity into a formal business. Join instructor Raimone Roberts, Business Advisor at the College of the Canyons SDBC and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Click here to register for this event.

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