This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from February 15 through 28.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or 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 February 15 through 28.

Northern California/Sacramento

How Women Can Save Money on Taxes and Prepare for Financial Freedom
Date: February 20, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Shasta County Office of Education
1644 Magnolia Ave. Redding, CA, 96001 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Join JEDI for this free workshop led by Linda Lingo, Financial Coach & CPA. Discuss financial freedom and retirement planning specifically for women and their needs and address your biggest fears in retirement.

Get answers to your questions about retirement and taxes like:

  • What retirement plans are available to business owners?
  • How does contributing to a retirement plan reduce my taxes?
  • How does contributing to a retirement plan create financial freedom?

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Writing Workshop
Date: Starts February 20, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 210 North 4th St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: Janet Garcia | jgarcia@anewamerica.org | (408) 326-2669
Organization: AnewAmerica
Fee: Free

Do you want to start your own business? Do you have an idea but need help exploring options? There are many things to consider before opening a successful business. Knowledge is the key to success.

Our FREE 9-week workshop for start-ups is designed to help you learn about every aspect of starting a business. You will work on the main sections of a business plan and work together as a group to brainstorm and encourage each other. You will develop a bond with your fellow entrepreneurs and have a network you can lean on for the life of your business.

You will walk away with a much greater understanding of what your next steps will be, and you will be closer to cutting that red ribbon to launch your successful new business.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media Marketing—New Sites and Strategies for Your Business
Date: February 20, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Hayward City Hall—Conference Room 2A
777 B St. Hayward, CA 94541 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, oh my! These are the go-to social networks for entrepreneurs. But did you realize that there are other networks that may be a better fit with your marketing strategy?

This seminar will explore additional social media marketing alternatives that can help to give you an edge in the digital world.

Topics include:

  • Recent changes to popular networks that can change your approach and usage
  • Other networks and directories to market your business
  • Localized directories (e.g. local online magazines) that can drive business to your website or store
  • Google My Business for maximum exposure for your small business
  • NextDoor for a highly localized presence for your small business

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: February 21 – 22, 2018 | 7:30 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 32nd Street Naval Base—San Diego
3455 Senn Rd. Bldg. 3210—Anchors Catering and Conference Center San Diego, CA 92136 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Veterans of all eras, Service members (including National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses are invited to enroll in this free two-day classroom course.

For more information about Boots to Business including additional business courses for veterans and their families, email boots-to-business@sba.gov or call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event. This course is also available at Camp Pendleton. Click here for more information or to register.

Stress-Free Business Taxes
Date: February 24, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Take the stress out of preparing for your business taxes! We’ll cover the basics, from business tax requirements through working from home to deductions, credits, and recordkeeping to get you ready for a stress-free tax day.

Click here to register for this event.

Trademark Protection
Date: February 28, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 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

Join this free workshop and learn the basics of how to protect intellectual property in your small business.

Topics include:

  • How trademarks, copyrights, patents, domain names, and business name registrations all differ
  • How to identify the benefits of federal trademark registration
  • Why it is important for any new business to select a trademark that you can federally register and legally protect, highlighting factors critical when choosing a mark
  • How to get free and reduced-price help when filing a federal trademark application

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Turn Facebook Likes into Customers
Date: February 16, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 8:45 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

Facebook changed their algorithm again. The platform now targets engagement bait. This means they will now downrank posts that ask you to like or share. Join SBA for a panel discussion with marketing guru Luke Nesler from Impakt Media on how small businesses can turn a Facebook Like into a customer.

Click here to register for this event.

5 Shortcuts to Small Business Success
Date: February 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Imagine running a successful local business with time on your hands. Stop dreaming about it and make it happen with this free webinar.

Join small business author and speaker Barry Moltz as he shares tips to help you run your business efficiently.

You’ll learn:

  • How to select a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • How to encourage a prospect to respond
  • How to use email marketing effectively
  • How to write emails that get opened
  • How to create a feasible social media strategy

Click here to register for this event.

Ten Tips for Managing Online Reviews and Listings
Date: February 27, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Your online reputation can hurt your business. Get some quick tips on how to make sure you are managing what is being said about you on the review sites.

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from February 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or 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 February 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Heath Flora
Date: February 2, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Heath Flora will be hosting his first annual small business meeting in his district on February 2nd in Modesto. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

How The New Tax Law Affects Small Businesses and their Owners
Date: February 2, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:30 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: $35

The tax law passed by Congress in December 2017 makes major changes in how small businesses and their owners are treated for tax purposes. This workshop covers those changes.

Topics include:

  • How major changes made by the new tax law impact your business including changes in tax rates, treatment of pass-through income, and deductibility of certain business expenses
  • How to determine the best type of legal entity for your business and how the new tax law may affect your decision
  • How the new tax law affects the treatment of employees and independent contractors

Join East Bay SCORE for this workshop led by SCORE counselor Neil Rubenstein, a retired attorney with 38 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Your 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.

Business Start Up
Date: February 8, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Tracy Chamber of Commerce
223 E. 10th St. Tracy, CA 95376 (map it)
Contact: sbdc@deltacollege.edu | (209) 954-5089
Organization: NEC Small Business Development Center San Joaquin Delta College
Fee: $15

This informative workshop is a great place to start planning and getting your business started on the right foot.

Topics for this one-hour session include:

  • Legal requirements and regulations
  • Sources of financing
  • Free business resources

At the end of the workshop, you can schedule your first individualized consulting session to work specifically on your business. That session and all subsequent consulting sessions are always confidential and without charge.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

YouTube 101 for Business
Date: February 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: El Camino College Business Training Center
13430 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cinseros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization: SBDC hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Join the SBDC for a free seminar on understanding Youtube as a social media marketing platform for your small business.

Topics include:

  • How to choose content for Youtube
  • How to optimize and monetize Youtube videos
  • How to increase subscribers
  • How to integrate YouTube with social media to increase revenue
  • How to use Youtube in your marketing strategy

Click here to register for this event.

Lunch & Learn on Small Business Insurance
Date: February 8, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 700 S. Almansor St. Alhambra, CA 91801 (map it)
Contact: office@rosemeadchamber.org | (626) 288-0811
Organization: Rosemead Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $15 for Rosemead Chamber members | $25 for guests (non-members)

You’re invited to join the Rosemead Chamber of Commerce for a lunch and learn workshop on small business insurance in partnership with CST Insurance Services Inc. Lunch will be provided!

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Blanca Rubio
Date: February 9, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on February 9 in West Covina. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Starting a Business While Working Full Time
Date: February 7, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Larry Batten | larry.batten@sba.gov | (304) 623-7447
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

We know it’s tough to leave a job for the unknown of small business ownership. What if you could start your business while still working? It’s been done before! Join the SBA’s Larry Batten as he guides you through the tools that can help.

Click here to register for this event.

Cybersecurity for Your Business and Value Chain
Date: February 8, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Pam Palazzo | palazzp@sunyit.edu | (315) 792-7547
Organization: Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) SBDC
Fee: Free

The pace of cybersecurity breaches has reached epic proportions. Organizations large and small need to take steps to protect their interests. This webinar will provide an overview of how cybercrime affects your business plus recent legislation, regulations, and frameworks that impact your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Basically Business: Phone & VOIP Know How
Date: February 8, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

Like it or not: we still communicate with customers via phone. How you come across speaks volumes about your business.

Join this 30 minute webinar and learn basic mobile phone, Skype, and Facetime skills to promote your small business.

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from January 18 through 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 January 18 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

12-Week Business Planning Class
Date: Starts January 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Kareen Boncales | kboncales@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $1000—12 week class that meets twice per week. Scholarships up to 50% and payment plans are available, based on household income. For more information on eligibility, see the scholarships page. A $40 nonrefundable application fee is required. This fee will be applied towards the class tuition if your application is accepted.

Take our 12-Week Business Planning Class and develop your business plan with confidence. This intensive class meets every Tuesday and Thursday and focuses on creating a practical and effective business plan—one of the most useful documents an entrepreneur will ever use. It is a critical management tool for feasibility analysis, operations, marketing, and finance and is necessary for accessing capital for business launch and growth.

The 12-Week Business Planning class addresses all aspects of business start up and expansion including:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Industry trend analysis
  • Operations
  • Financial projections and sales assumptions

Participants have access to industry experts, one-to-one consultations, small group interactions, financial coaching, and a business plan review session. Completing this course will help build a strong foundation necessary to embark on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a Renaissance SoMa Orientation. Get more information on income verification here.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Catharine Baker
Date: January 26, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Catharine Baker will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on January 26 in San Ramon. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Building a Business Website
Date: Starts January 30, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free with JEDI membership

Do you want to build your own business website? Now you can in this introductory, hands-on, project based website development course for the small business owner.

Join this comprehensive class every Tuesday and plan, format, develop, and publish a basic business website using WordPress web or another web development software.

Skill learned include:

  • Developing copy
  • Adding text, images, media, widget, and navigation elements
  • Linking to other websites

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Why Your Website Should be Your Top Priority
Date: January 24, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Rancho Santiago Community College District
2323 North Broadway Room 107 Santa Ana, CA 92706 (map it)
Contact: David Calderon | calderon_david@rscc.edu | (714) 564-5200
Organization: Orange County Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Wake up your website and drive more business! Join us to learn some of the latest best practices and techniques for making your website an effective sales tool.

Business owners should prioritize their website as the foundation of their online marketing to achieve success. This informative session will cover:

  • Mobile trends
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • Website best practices
  • Turnoffs for visitors
  • Tips to make your website a more effective sales tool
  • Your site and HTTPS
  • Overview of Google Analytics
  • Resources for tracking and monitoring your website
  • Real world case studies and small business examples

Click here to register for this event.

Free Small Business Growth Workshop
Date: January 25, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Ovitt Family Community Library
215 East C St. Ontario, CA 91764 (map it)
Contact: Denise Marquez | (909) 481-6474
Organization: Office of Norma Torres
Fee: Free

Join Congresswoman Norma Torres for a free small business growth workshop to learn how to gain access to loans in order to grow or start your business. The following organizations will be presenting at this event:

  • Opportunity Fund
  • CDC
  • Accion
  • AMPAC
  • Wells Fargo
  • SBA
  • SBDC
  • Inland Empire Women’s Business Center

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes
Date: January 26, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on January 19 in Corona. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Money Matters: Accessing Capital for Asian American Small Business Owners
Date: January 18, 2018 | 2:30 pm PDT – 2:45 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Geri Agilpay
Organization: Small Business Majority and National ACE
Fee: Free

Small Business Majority and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE) invite you to join us for a free webinar on responsible ways to access capital for Asian American small businesses.

Through this webinar, Geri Aglipay of Small Business Majority and Emily Nordquist of LISC Small Business will help you understand the funding landscape to start and grow your business. Learn about safe forms of small business financing – from alternative to traditional methods –including how to navigate the growing online lending space. Dr. Karen Eng, National ACE Advisory Board member, will provide introductory comments and insight into growing a small business. This webinar is suitable for small business owners with less than 10 employees, startups, home-based operations and sole proprietors.

Topics of discussion include:

  • An overview of alternative and traditional lending options, including microloans, SBA loans, and reputable online lender
  • 5 C’s of credit
  • Key questions to consider when seeking funding
  • The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
  • Helpful tools and resources

Click here to register for this event.

How To Use Change Management In A Small Business Webinar
Date: January 23, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (810) 767-8387
Organization: VetBizCentral
Fee: Free

Improve your small business productivity and reduce costs with change management principles in this webinar.

Join host Salahuddin Ali, a client of VetBizCentral and CEO of SLA Business Solutions, to learn how to implement industry leading change management models in your business and keep up with the changing business world.

Topics include:

  • Information technology
  • Process improvement
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Project management
  • Change management solutions

Click here to register for this event.

Digital Marketing Trends in 2018
Date: January 23, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Digital marketing is changing due to widespread ownership of smartphones, ever-increasing data and video streaming, and a cultural desire for digestible and personalized content. Do you know which trends will impact your organization in 2018?

Join us as we explore the top trends that small businesses should be paying attention to and some simple ideas for incorporating them into your overall marketing strategy:

  • Marketing automation
  • Content marketing
  • Video
  • Mobile

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from January 8 through 17.

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 January 8 through 17.

Northern California/Sacramento

Developing Your Own Food Business—10 Part Seminar
Date: Starts January 10, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 am PDT
Location: Ruggieri Senior Center
33997 Alvarado-Niles Rd. Union City, CA 94587 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Thinking of launching a food product or opening a restaurant/cafe? Learn the critical aspects of how to start and succeed in the specialty food business!

The Alameda County SBDC and the Alameda County Community Development Agency offer a free 10-part seminar series: “Running Your Own Food Business” This series is for entrepreneurs interested in launching and growing food businesses in Alameda County.

Join us for this free 10 class series that meets every Wednesday and Thursday. Participants who attend eight of the ten sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion.

1/10/18 Class 1: Concept (mission/vision/values)     
1/11/18 Class 2: Operating Models    
1/17/18 Class 3: Consumer Packaged Goods & Food Service Models
1/18/18 Class 4: Understanding Costs (cash/profit)
1/24/18 Class 5: Operations                   
1/25/18 Class 6: Marketing Communications                                                       
1/31/18 Class 7: Financial Projections
2/01/18 Class 8: Legalities & Resources                               
2/07/18 Class 9: Funding Your Company                                                                 
2/08/18 Class 10: Your Business Plan

Click here to register for this event.

Own Your Negotiations – Women Mean Business
Date: January 10, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Learn three powerful tools to get ahead and get along in your business negotiations with customers, vendors, and your team.

Enjoy a light dinner and learn from and be inspired by successful women business owners, industry experts, and thought leaders.

Women Mean Business is Renaissance SoMa’s monthly women’s networking meetup. This event strives to help local business women and emerging women entrepreneurs learn from successful women business owners’ experiences, make new contacts, build their networks, and grow their businesses. Examples of topics include setting goals, accessing capital, and industry-specific sessions in fashion, jewelry, retail, and food.

Click here to register for this event.

Exploring Business Ownership – What It Takes To Start a Business
Date: January 17, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free with JEDI membership

Starting a business can be scary, but like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are the higher chance of a positive outcome. If you are considering starting a business, join this workshop and get informed!

We will discuss the following:

  • The mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • The different types of businesses and legal structures
  • Common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Why conducting a feasibility study is like packing the right supplies for a trip

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Basic Accounting for Your Business
Date: January 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 77-806 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

Because everything in business revolves around money, proper money management will be key your small business’s success. Your ability to understand and follow a few basic accounting practices is what will make the difference between success and profitability or headache and heartache. This workshop will show you the bare minimum accounting practices and procedures for any small business and how to implement them.

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Networking Breakfast
Date: January 12, 2018 | 7:45 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Sheraton Mission Valley
1433 Camino del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: score140@scorevolunteer.org | (585) 283-1101
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: $20

Join us for this networking breakfast planned around the theme: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Profit.

Rhonda Sher, The LinkedIn Diva, leads the seminar. She’s an expert in creating LinkedIn profiles and knows how to leverage the platform for business success. Rhonda will show you how to optimize your profile so that it speaks to your ideal clients and referral partners and stands out from the competition. You will also learn how to make connections on LinkedIn and how to go from offline to online in today’s digital world.

Your registration fee includes breakfast: scrambled eggs with chives, spinach and cheese, potatoes, bacon, sliced fruit, orange juice, regular and decaf coffee and tea.

Click here to register for this event.

Time Management – Work Smarter, Not Harder
Date: January 16, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Highgrove Public Library
530 Center St. Riverside, CA 92507 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

If you’re doing more and enjoying it less, it’s time to make real choices about how and when to spend your time. This workshop gives you the tools to find balance, achieve your goals and be more effective and productive.

Join us and learn how to:

  • Plan your week so you can reduce stress and save time
  • Organize your master project and to-do lists so they are doable
  • Break down your personal or business goals into bite-sized pieces, and make the time to work on them

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Energize Your Enterprise
Date: January 11, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Stephen Konkle | stephen.konkle@sba.gov | (312) 886-4208
Organization: SBA Illinois District Office
Fee: Free

Owning and operating a small business is both rewarding and challenging. Over time, things change: markets, economic conditions, and people. What seemed like a great product or service when you started may need to be discarded or modified. Perhaps the market for the product or service you provide no longer exists. Financing methods can change. Your target market may evolve.

In this webinar, we’ll show you how to perform a systematic operational review. If you own a small business and have been operating for at least two years, it may be time to review the history and set the direction for the future. This free webinar can be your start.

Click here to register for this event.

Beyond Google: Free Market Research at Your Library
Date: January 11, 2018 | 12:30 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: workshops@sba.gov | (206) 553-7310
Organization: SBA Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

It’s vital to stay ahead of the competition during any stage in your business. Information is key to success, but it can be expensive or time-consuming if you don’t know where to look. Find out how to navigate various databases available through your local library to help you make informed decisions in your business planning, marketing, site location and market analysis. Also, gain valuable information and insights to better understand local economic conditions, customers, and more.

Click here to register for this event. If you’re in the Seattle area, you can attend the class in person at SBA Education & Training Center, 2401 4th Ave, Suite 450 Seattle, WA 98121 (map it).

Managing Cash Flow
Date: January 16, 2018 | 6:00 am PDT – 7:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Savannah Wilburn | savannah.wilburn@sba.gov | (803) 765-5377
Organization: SBA South Carolina District Office
Fee: Free

Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides a practical introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. Developed jointly by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), this instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules.

This module, “Managing Cash Flow” is the third module of the series. Subsequent modules will be presented every month. Participants do not need to complete previous modules to participate in future modules.

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of cash flow management in a small business
  • Make cash flow projections based on the cash cycle
  • Identify some ways to manage cash flow, including receivables and payables
  • Work more effectively with technical experts

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from December 15 through 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 December 15 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

CommUNITY Cafe
Date: December 19, 2017 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: 2150 Allston Way Suite 400 Berkeley, CA 94704 (map it)
Contact: Berkeley@Impacthubbayarea.com | (510) 649-7700
Organizations: Impact Hub Berkeley
Fee: Free

Impact Hub Berkeley is excited to announce CommUNITY Cafe, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 9:30am.

Each CommUNITY Cafe session will allow one group to present about their business or project and receive feedback, suggestions, and connection with the wider community. The main purpose is to get everyone to know the projects that are going on in the area, gain new connections, and discover new opportunities.

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there. RSVP to reserve your spot and make sure there are enough doughnuts for everyone.

Click here to register for this event.

Financial Literacy Workshop
Date: December 19, 2017 | 7:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Oakland Financial Center
7901 Oakport St. Suite 2800 Oakland, CA 94621 (map it)
Contact: info@worldsystembuilder.com | (408) 941-1838
Organization: World System Builder
Fee: Free

World System Builder is a community of financial professionals on a mission to deliver the best financial education and revolutionize the financial service industry through a reliable, build-able system.

Join the World System Builder team for a free financial literacy workshop every Tuesday. Topics rotate each week and include:

  • Increase cash flow, debt management, emergency funds
  • Build strong financial foundation, proper protection
  • Build wealth, asset accumulation, saving for your child’s education
  • Retirement planning
  • Long-term care, Medicare basic, wealth preservation

Click here to register for this event.

Starting a Small Business – Lodi
Date: December 21, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Lodi Chamber of Commerce
35 S. School St. Lodi, CA 95240 (map it)
Contact: sbdc@deltacollege.edu | (209) 954-5089
Organization: Northeastern California Small Business Development Center – San Joaquin Delta College
Fee: $15

This informative workshop is a great place to start planning and getting your business started on the right foot.

Topics for this one-hour session include:

  • Legal requirements and regulations
  • Sources of financing
  • Free business resources

At the end of the workshop, you can schedule your first individualized consulting session to work specifically on your business. That session and all subsequent consulting sessions are always confidential and without charge.

Click here to register for this event. This workshop is also offered in Stockton on December 27. Registration is $25. Click here for more information.

Southern California/San Diego

Work Smarter, Not Harder – WordPress for Small Business
Date: December 18, 2017 | 10:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Webster University
32 Discovery #250 Irvine, CA 92618 (map it)
Contact: workshops@score114.org | 714-550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

WordPress is the fastest growing and most popular website platform for all levels of business, but especially small business. The amazing selection of features, options and benefits that attracted Samsung, Ford, EBay, GM and CNN to WordPress are the same for Small Business Owners everywhere.

We will discuss the following topics during our fact filled WordPress presentation:

  • What is WordPress?
  • Why is WordPress Perfect for Small Businesses?
  • What is Responsive Design & Why Do You Need It?
  • What are Website Best Practices?
  • Why Convert Your Site to WordPress?
  • What is Google Analytics?—An Overview
  • How to “Do it Right”?—Case Studies
  • What are the Top 10 WordPress Plugins?

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with State Senator Joel Anderson
Date: December 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: El Cajon—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Contact: samantha@csba.com
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

State senator Joel Anderson will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on December 20 in El Cajon. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Costing, Pricing, & Break Even
Date: December 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Fullerton Public Library Main Branch
353 W. Commonwealth Ave. Fullerton, CA 92832 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

How do you price your product or service? Is it at a level that generates a profit or are you losing money and burning through cash?

All businesses face this challenge. Before establishing prices it is necessary to understand your specific marketing goals, the factors that influence pricing strategy, and all possible pricing strategies.

Pricing is only part of the issue. Are you aware of the costs of your product or service?  How much do your employees cost and how do they impact pricing? How do your costs behave as sales increase or decrease?  

This workshop also addresses the following questions:

  • What annual sales level is required to achieve a sustainable cash flow position?
  • What annual or monthly sales do I need to achieve my targeted cash flow?
  • Is it a good idea to invest in a larger or nicer facility?
  • Should I hire full time or part time employees?  

This workshop is designed for entrepreneurs who are preparing business plans or financial projections.  Information from this workshop is also helpful if you are introducing a new product or service and want a more thorough understanding of pricing strategy.  Knowledge of financial statements would be useful but not necessary.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Been There, Done That! Podcast # 54 Maximize Twitter Advertising ROI
Date: On Demand Download
Location: Online—Podcast
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Learn how to increase website clicks and conversions by tweeting during live events and by tapping into followers of thought leaders for a particular genre that resonates with your target audience.

In this episode, Mical Johnson of Omen Interactive, a veteran of the Navy and nearly two decades in digital marketing, shares best practices to maximize the return on your Twitter advertising investment including geo-targeting, use of Twitter Cards, automatic bids, and more.

SCORE is proud to partner with Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources and the speaker to offer this program. FREE to download and listen.

Click here to listen and download.

Simplifying Social Media for Solopreneurs – Live Webinar
Date: December 19, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Social media might be the last thing on the minds of time-strapped solopreneurs and freelancers. But with a well-planned strategy, even the self-employed can make the most of these powerful and free marketing tools.

Join us for this seminar where we will discuss:

  • Which social media platforms to use if you are crunched for time
  • How to get the most out of your social media activities
  • How to align your social goals to business goals

Click here to register for this event.

Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business
Date: December 27, 2017 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contacto: Xiomara Peña
Organización: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Are you having trouble obtaining funding for your business? Join Small Business Majority for a free national webinar where we will help you navigate the funding landscape and connect you with resources to help you obtain the capital you need to start and grow your business.

For entrepreneurs, getting a loan could mean the difference between success and failure, whether it’s used for renovation, purchasing equipment or working capital. However, one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners and entrepreneurs has been and continues to be the inability to access sufficient credit and capital. If you’ve been turned down by a bank, don’t feel bad. You’re far from alone.

Topics of discussion include:

  • An overview of alternative lending options including microloans, SBA’s loan guarantee program, community banks and credit unions, CDFIs, reputable online lenders and crowdfunding
  • Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
  • Key questions to consider when seeking funding
  • Tips to help determine the best option for your small business
  • Helpful tools and resources

A question and answer period will follow.

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from December 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re 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 December 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Evan Low
Date: December 1, 2017 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Evan Low will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on December 1 in Cupertino. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Tax Planning for the Sole Proprietor
Date: December 5, 2017 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: $10

  • Are you confused about filing taxes for your small business?
  • Do you know what expenses you can deduct on your Schedule C?
  • Are you wondering what strategies you can use to lower your income or tax liabilities?

The Tax Planning for Sole Proprietors workshop will help business owners fully understand their Schedule C – Profit or Loss from Business. The workshop explores best practices for bookkeeping to prepare for filing taxes and explains the mysteries of tax planning and quarterly payments.

Participants will learn about the deductions and strategies they can use to evaluate what they pay in taxes. When you know the rules, you will have the power to “take the ‘ax” out of tax!” Sleep better because you know you’re organized and Uncle Sam is only getting his fair share, and not more.

Join us for the presentation and Q&A session after.

Click here to register for this event.

Open Forum Workshop – Get the Answers You Need for Your Business
Date: December 12, 2017 | 4:00 pm PDT – 6:30 pm PDT
Location: Finley Center
2060 W. College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (map it)
Contact: Jim Kane | info@score450.org | (707) 824-9862
Organizations: North Coast SCORE
Fee: $20

Let SCORE help you succeed, minimize your risk, save valuable time, and benchmark your progress. Discuss your business challenges and opportunities with experienced SCORE Mentors and other small business entrepreneurs.

This session is intended to be fully participatory where everyone has the opportunity to share and learn from each other not just from the SCORE mentors. Often the best takeaway is what you learn from another participant’s experiences. Please be prepared to share a little about your business and what you are hoping to learn from the workshop. Become aware of continuing services provided by North Coast SCORE, more than 100 years of combined experience.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Receive clear and honest feedback on your business concept
  • Establish clear next steps to move your business forward
  • Lay out a plan to fully utilize Score services and connect with your own mentor

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

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

Come receive hands-on advice to keep in your company in the good graces of our friends in the Tax Office.

Learn how to deal with the Board of Equalization, the California Employment Development Department, and the Internal Revenue Service concerning the most common and pressing tax issues affecting your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Transform Your Business – Seven Best Practices
Date: December 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:15 pm PDT
Location: 77-806 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

Feeling overworked, underpaid and underappreciated? Learn how to transform your business into a business you’ll really love.

Attend this workshop and learn the 7 best practices for improving your profitability, client quality, and work/personal life balance. See how transforming your business can transform your life!

Click here to register for this event. Pre-registration is required to attend.

Common Legal Questions for Businesses
Date: December 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Brea Chamber of Commerce
1 Civic Center Cir. 2nd Floor Brea, CA 92870 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

Here’s your chance to get answers to your business legal questions without paying an arm and a leg.

New business owners often have questions regarding the formalities required to get their business off the ground. Here’s how this free seminar can help your small business:

  • Determine the best legal structure for their business
  • Define the common types of contracts small business owners encounter
  • Learn tips for entering contracts
  • Protect your intellectual property

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Social Media Trends 2018 Webinar
Date: December 1, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: David Calderon | calderon_david@rsccd.edu | (714) 564-5200
Organization: Orange County Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Social media presents a great opportunity for small business owners to engage with their customers, leverage content, and build their brands and following. Through this webinar, you will get an overview on how to take advantage of this opportunity in the digital space as we will cover hot trends for social media expected for 2018. This is your chance to get ready for the shifts in the digital world and to get a head start on leveraging trends that will be imperative to grow your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Sharing Your Business Story Through Video
Date: December 5, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

The mission of online video platforms is to give everybody a voice and to show that voice to the world.

In this session, Corissa Saint Laurent, a speaker for Google’s Get Your Business Online team will help you understand how you can get the most out of your video story by showing you the power of video through:

  • Identifying your audience
  • The golden rules of content creation
  • Concepting, scripting, and producing a video

Click here to register for this event.

Access to capital for LGBT businesses
Date: December 13, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Valerie Maher | valerie.maher@sba.gov
Organization: SBA Houston District Office
Fee: Free

This FREE webinar helps entrepreneurs and small business owners learn the different avenues to access capital, focusing on SBA loan programs and also non-traditional fund sources!

This webinar is brought to you by the US Small Business Administration and the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Webinar will also allow for Q&A.

The webinar series will prepare attendees to learn about:

  • The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • SBA loan programs
  • What do lenders look for
  • How to find a lender
  • Non-traditional fund sources (SBIC, SBIR/STTR)

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from November 13 through 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 November 13 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

The True Cost of IT issues
Date: November 14, 2017 |1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
Fee: Free

This class is designed to help business owners and leaders understand the way technology can add to, or destroy their bottom line.

We’ll focus not on the technology itself, but the way we think about risk and cost associated with our choices concerning technology.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Jim Wood
Date: November 15, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Santa Rosa—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organizations: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Jim Wood will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on November 15th in Santa Rosa. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Website Best Practices for Beginners
Date: November 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin Building AC, Room 105
835 College Ave. Kentfield, CA 94909 (map it)
Contact: Miriam Karell | miriam@marinsbdc.org | (415) 755-1100
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: Free

Learn how to save time and frustration and create a more effective website with the basic principles of web design—no experience in web design or technical background necessary!

This workshop is for small business owners who are developing or maintaining their own website and want to understand the basic principles of effective website design. This is not a technical class nor do we discuss advanced search engine optimization. It does not require any specific background and we will avoid technical terms as much as possible so that everyone can understand.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: November 15-16, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 14th and C St. Bldg 13150, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Join the SBA for a Boots to Business Training Program, a two-day, free seminar designed for veterans interested in entrepreneurship.

The workshop is open to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military. To learn more information about Boots to Business, please email boots-to-business@sba.gov  call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event.

Murrieta Business Round table
Date: November 15, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
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 round table 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. Join us for this monthly meeting recurring on the third Wednesday of every month.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Matt Dababneh
Date: November 17, 2017 | 1:30 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Van Nuys, CA—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Contact: samantha@csba.com
Organizations: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Matt Dababneh will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on November 17th in Van Nuys. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Market Research for Small Business: What is it and Why do it?
Date: November 15, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Understanding your potential customers is one of the most important keys to effective marketing. Knowing where to find them and how to speak their language translates into sales.

Before you start or expand your business, be wise and test the viability of your product or service. Learn all you can about the industry, demographics, trends, and potential customer buying habits.

This webinar is an overview of what market research is and how you can use it to start and grow your small business. We’ll cover your options to conduct market research as a small business with limited resources.

We’ll also talk about free and inexpensive ways to get research including downloading an industry report, attending an industry event, using focus groups and surveys, and crawling social media. For businesses with an international reach, we’ll also discuss resources for expanding into global markets.

The content will instantly applicable to start-ups and existing businesses. It may be especially relevant for any entrepreneur looking for funding. Empower your business decisions with data and knowledge.

Click here to register for this event.

Apps Unleashed: Grow Your Business Using Just Your Phone
Date: November 16, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

A smartphone or tablet is an incredibly powerful computer, communication device, and online marketing tool—right in your pocket! There are hundreds of free and inexpensive apps at your disposal that can drive sales, improve communication with your customers, and market your business. Join this free webinar to learn how to unleash the power of your mobile device:

  • How to spot the must-have apps: including both the new and the obscure you’ve never heard of
  • How to use apps for maximum impact
  • How to utilize apps in conjunction with your other marketing efforts to magnify results

This session is designed for everyone. Beginners will not feel lost, but advanced users can learn something new.

Click here to register for this event.

Blogging to Boost Your Business
Date: November 16, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $10

Discover how you can generate leads with a business blog. In this online workshop, you’ll learn blogging essentials including:

  • Tips on what to post
  • Keys to creating great content
  • Ways to attract attention with powerful headlines
  • And more!

A link to join the webinar will be sent the day before the event.

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from November 2 through 13.

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 November 2 through 13.

Northern California/Sacramento

Exploring Business Ownership: What Does it Takes to Start a Business?
Date: November 2, 2017 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Starting a business can be scary. Like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are, the higher chance of a positive outcome. If you are considering starting a business, get informed.

Join us for this free workshop, where you’ll discover:

  • The mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • The different types of businesses as well as legal structures
  • Common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Why conducting a feasibility study is like packing the right supplies for a trip

Click here to register for this event.

Boots to Business Reboot #MyVetBiz
Date: November 6, 2017 | 8:30 am PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: SBA Fresno District Office
801 R St. Room 102 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Peter Estrada | peter.estrada@sba.gov | (559) 487-5791 ext. 2703
Organizations: Fresno SBA District Office
Fee: Free

Veterans have the character, discipline, and skills needed to succeed as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Veterans can transition to entrepreneurship with help from Boots to Business Reboot.

Boots to Business Reboot is a two-step training program that provides participants with a starter kit of information for entrepreneurship:

  • Overview of business ownership as a career vocation
  • Outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan
  • Practical exercises in opportunity recognition
  • Introduction to available public and private sector resources

Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserve), and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners, who are skilled business advisors. Step two is one of the online follow-on courses instructed by a consortium of professors and skilled business advisors from the SBA Network.

This course is also offered November 8 in Citrus Heights. Get the information here.

Click here to register for this event.

Finance Your Business
Date: November 7, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: U.S. Bank
1 California St. Suite 2000 San Francisco, CA 94111 (map it)
Contact: Diana Chavez | diana@workingsolutions.org | (415) 590-0155
Organization: Working Solutions
Fee: Free

Join this free panel discussion on business financing with financial experts from nonprofit lenders, banks, and community partners. Opportunity Fund is honored to join U.S Bank, Kiva, and host (and our community partner!) Working Solutions at this event.

Topics will include:

  • Financing options
  • What lenders are looking for
  • Credit requirements
  • Importance of a relationship with a financial institution
  • Eligibility guidelines and loan application procedures

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: November 8-9, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 32nd Street Naval Base—San Diego
3455 Senn Rd., Bldg. 3210 San Diego, CA 92136 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Join the SBA for a Boots to Business Training Program, a two-day, free seminar designed for veterans interested in entrepreneurship.

The workshop is open to service members and their dependents transitioning or retiring from the U.S. military. To learn more information about Boots to Business, please email boots-to-business@sba.gov  call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event.

Disaster Recovery
Date: November 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Microsoft Store—The Shops at Mission Viejo
555 The Shops at Mission Viejo Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (map it)
Contact: workshops@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

Join Orange County SCORE for this free workshop on disaster recovery for small businesses. Prepare for the workshop with the following agenda:

  • 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm | Registration
  • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Workshop and presentation
  • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm | Networking and raffle (bring business cards!)

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Networking Breakfast
Date: November 10, 2017 | 7:45 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: The Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Ave. San Diego, CA 92114 (map it)
Contact: score0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20 through November 2 | $25 after November 2 and at the door

Join San Diego SCORE for this women’s networking breakfast. This event’s theme is Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Profit. Your registration fee includes networking, lecture, and hors d’oeuvres, with no host bar.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

5 Cheap Ways to Market Your Business Online
Date: November 7, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Getting your business online isn’t as complicated or expensive as you’ve been told. Join us as we discuss some ways to promote your business online without breaking the bank—or driving yourself crazy.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Owner Tax Workshop
Date: November 9, 2017 | 10:15 am PDT – 12:15 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (206) 553-7310
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

Learn the basics of small business taxes in this free webinar. Tax professionals will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Types of entities
  • Record keeping
  • Accounting methods
  • Travel and entertainment expenses
  • Business use of home
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Estimated taxes
  • Independent contractors
  • Choosing a tax preparer

The SBA Seattle District Office offers free workshops the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, except for the 4th Thursdays in November and December. Classes held on the 2nd Thursday of the month are online webinars only.

Here’s an upcoming slate of free November events:
Live webinar | November 9 | 9 – 10 a.m. | Make the World’s Biggest Buyer Your Customer Through Government Contracts
Live webinar | November 9 | 12:30 – 2 p.m. | Choosing the Right Business Structure
Live webinar | November 9 | 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. | Register, License, Go!

Click here to register for this event and to get more information on upcoming seminars from the SBA Seattle District office.

After Lunch Webinar Series: Effective Human Resources for Small Businesses
Date: November 9, 2017 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.edu | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

This webinar will focus on building an HR infrastructure within your company.  Topics include:

  • Effective interview questions
  • Content of an onboarding program
  • Value of performance appraisals
  • Rationale for implementing progressive discipline  

Participants will also learn the best practices for ending an employment relationship and how an Employee Handbook can assist in making HR decisions.

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 tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from October 17 through 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 October 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

CPUC/PacifiCorp Redding Small/Diverse Business Expo
Date: October 19, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center
1900 Hilltop Dr. Redding, CA 96002 (map it)
Contact: smallbiz@cpuc.ca.gov | (800) 253-0500
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

California and its utility companies: PacifiCorp, PG&E, Southern California Edison, Sempra Utilities, AT&T, Comcast, Frontier, T-Mobile, California Water Association, and more want your business.

Join us to learn of opportunities and how to get contracts. Start networking with public agencies, utility companies, prime contractors, and business resource centers at this all-day event.

This event will include:

  • One-on-one business matchmaking (pre-scheduled basis only)
  • Buyer meetings
  • Vendor and resource fair
  • Educational workshops
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Developing Powerful Presentation Skills—What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Know
Date: October 25, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:45 pm PDT
Location: James Irvine Center—A Room
353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organizations: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

This seminar will teach the core principles of highly effective business presentations for women entrepreneurs. This skill is critical for all women business owners to help secure funding, to attract customer and business partners, and to share their products and services in a community forum.

Skills covered will include:

  • Effective body language and visual attributes that engage the audience
  • Effective presentation development including visual, vocal and verbal skills
  • Presentation content development
  • Incorporation of the authentic self into presentations
  • Common pitfalls women encounter when presenting

Click here to register for this event.

Livermore Small Business Fair
Date: October 26, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Livermore Public Library —Civic Center
1188 S. Livermore Ave. Livermore, CA 94550 (map it)
Contact: Ellen Dean | eedean@livermore.lib.ca.us | (925) 373-5500
Organization: City of Livermore
Fee: Free

Join the Livermore Small Business Fair to get information and resources you need to help grow your business, like:

  • A business resource exhibit
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Workshop sessions including Financing Your Business, Growing Your Business Online, and Overview of SCORE services for small business

This training event is presented by local small business organizations and supporters: Livermore Public Library, Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, East Bay SCORE, Alameda County SBDC, and UNCLE Credit Union.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: October 17, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 3780 Market St. Riverside, CA 92501 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Join this workshop to learn about the forms of business organization. Get the word straight from a lawyer to clarify your key questions:

  • What is the most beneficial business structure for my business?
  • What are the the tax consequences and benefits of each business structure?
  • How can I protect my personal assets and property from lawsuits?
  • How do I prevent piercing the “corporate veil” of protection?
  • What do I have to know about business law from start up to success?

Click here to register for this event.

MyVetBiz: 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Conference & Awards
Date: October 25, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
3777 La Jolla Village Dr. San Diego, CA 92122 (map it)
Contact: Audrey Marlow | amarlow@sdbj.com | (858) 277-6359
Organization: San Diego Business Journal
Fee: $65—$150 (free for Veterans, Active Duty and Military Spouses with valid military identification)

With its proud military history and presence, San Diego boasts one of the most robust markets for veteran or military spouse-owned businesses in the United States. Join the San Diego Business Journal, in partnership with The Rosie Network, to celebrate and support local veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses with this new awards program and educational conference. Winners and finalists will be honored in a special San Diego Business Journal supplement.

Conference and Lunch
10:00 – 10:30 am Registration
10:30 am – 10:45 am Welcome: Stephanie Brown, The Rosie Network & Huntley Paton, San Diego Business Journal
10:45 – 11:15 am Keynote from Jerry Sanders, President and CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
11:30 am – 12:15 pm Breakout Session #1
12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch with the Experts
1:30 – 2:15 pm Breakout Session #2
2:30 – 3:30 pm Breakout Session #3

Special Awards Reception and Dinner
4:00 – 5:00 pm Networking
5:00 – 6:30 pm Dinner and Awards Program
6:30 – 7:30 pm Networking

General Admission tickets for the 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Conference are $65.00 per person. The conference is free for Veterans, Active Duty, and Military Spouses (present valid military identification at registration check in). General Admission tickets for the 2017 Veteran and Military Entrepreneur Awards are $150.00 per person.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Resource Expo
Date: October 27, 2017 | 10:30 am PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: 501 S. Bixel St. Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: info@laccnp.org | (213) 482-8618
Organization: Central City Neighborhood Partners
Fee: Free

The Los Angeles Alliance for Economic Inclusion is hosting a Small Business Resource Expo that will offer small business workshops on the basics of financing in English and Spanish. Join Opportunity Fund at the resource expo featuring nonprofits, CDFIs, and government agencies that offer lending and technical assistance resources.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Ask SCORE: Business Plans
Date: October 17, 2017 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) Score
Fee: Free

Did you know: You are twice as likely to grow your business or get funding if you have a business plan. In this live Q&A session, SCORE mentor and business plan expert Hal Shelton will devote the entire hour to answering attendees’ questions about the business plan. Attendees can submit questions in the registration form and during the live webinar.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Have the Best Holiday Season Ever
Date: October 18, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: $15

It’s no secret that holiday spending is higher than any other time of year. Don’t miss out on your piece of the holiday pie! Let us show you how to influence your potential customers’ purchases by making an offer they can’t resist.

During this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Select the right offer for your ideal audience
  • Create a quick and effective promotional plan
  • Design an offer that stands out, especially on mobile
  • Reach new customers and spread the word using social media

If you’re hoping to make this your best holiday season yet, you won’t want to miss this event. Join us to find out exactly how to achieve and exceed your holiday goals.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Steer Clear of Accidental Discrimination When Hiring
Date: October 19, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (800) 634-0245
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

With every new hire, your objective is to select the most qualified person for the job. You’re also responsible for supporting a fair and diverse workforce – and for upholding anti-discrimination laws by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Whether intentional or not, hiring practices that discriminate against protected applicants could lead to serious legal trouble.

Are you aware of the various federal and state laws that prevent discrimination? Just as important, are you confident your hiring process treats every job seeker equally and fairly?

Attend this webinar for a discussion of the oversights that can hurt your hiring efforts – and what you can say, do and ask each step of the way to avoid accidental discrimination.

You will learn:

  • Major anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Language to avoid when advertising and recruiting
  • Checklist of right and wrong interview questions
  • Precautions with background/criminal checks
  • Dos and don’ts of accessing social media accounts

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. 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

Disasters and emergency situations are not glamorous things to prepare for when running a business. You may feel the urge to put off planning for disasters because you don’t feel an immediate need and your work day is busy, but it is vital to spend the time to plan in order to protect your business in a disaster.

Disasters and emergency situations are not glamorous things to prepare for when running a business. You may feel the urge to put off planning for disasters because you don’t feel an immediate need and your work day is busy, but it is vital to spend the time to plan in order to protect your business in a disaster.

 

Real world disasters are often less dramatic and more emotionally devastating than Hollywood movies portray them. When a disaster hits your community, you might feel hopeless and overwhelmed. As a small business owner, you have to prepare for emergency scenarios with your business in addition to your personal life.

The way to prevent that black hole feeling when you see your store damaged or destroyed is by planning. Think about all the potential emergencies that your business type and your local environment could experience and create solid plans.

Before Disaster Strikes

Having a plan in place is key to being well prepared. Below is a short list of things you need to consider in your emergency plan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and SCORE have comprehensive lists of detailed checklists and resources for free. Rehearse and disseminate your plan with your employees and keep copies of all important documents and contact information in a secure, offsite location for quick retrieval.

  • Insurance. Make sure you have all the information and paperwork you need ahead of time for your insurance provider. If your business is located in a particularly vulnerable location, consider additional coverage for natural disasters. Not all standard insurance plans cover these emergencies, so be sure to comb through your terms to be familiar with what damage is covered and what isn’t in the case of a disaster.
  • Inventory. If you aren’t already conducting regular inventory checks for business growth, then you should start doing it for the sake of recovery. Try to keep inventory records in different ways such as digital, physical, and photographic if possible. Insurance companies will want to know exactly what was damaged or destroyed. Police will need to know what was stolen in cases of looting. Knowing what you have will also help you get back to business once the disaster is over.
  • Communication. Keep updated records of employees’ contact information. If you need to reach them during or after an emergency, make sure all parties are aware how this communication will happen.
  • Business Continuity Plan. Do you have backup payroll, supply chain, and standard procedure for disasters? Your employees need to know specifically what the procedure is for evacuations and returning to work once the emergency has ended. Be flexible but aware – people panic in emergencies and may just disappear if there is no clear plan.
  • Supplies. While keeping a fire extinguisher and first aid kit onsite is obvious, do you have an easy-to-access supply of water, flashlights, blankets, nonperishable food items, and protective gear if the workplace needs to become a temporary shelter?
  • Personnel Safety. Conduct regular drills for common emergencies with your employees. Encourage or provide CPR training and certification. Establish a safe meeting place outside the workplace for small emergencies such as a building fire and learn where local shelter and evacuation points are for larger disasters. Make sure exits are not blocked, windows can open, and tall furniture or machinery are properly secured to the walls.

The American Red Cross has a handy, easy-to-read PDF checklist that you can download for free:

Small Business Emergency Checklist

In the Eye of the Storm

Now that you’ve created plans, copied documents, and practiced for different scenarios, it is time for you to put it all to good use.

In an emergency, you will need to be a leader not a manager. As a small business owner, your employees will look to management for guidance and assurance. If you are not calm and decisive, then they will panic and people could get hurt.

Once the Dust Clears

Make safety your top priority! Listen to law enforcement and emergency responders to know when you can safely return to the workplace for cleanup and resuming business operations. Don’t rush in until you know you and your employees are safe. Depending on your industry and the kind of disaster, there may be chemical leaks, mold, smoke damage, and other health risks.

Once you get back, take pictures of everything. Take detailed photos of damage and inventory for insurance claims. Don’t start repairs or cleanup until you have taken care of insurance, or you may pay more out of pocket than you need. Keep track of any expenses related to recovery. If insurance isn’t enough to cover damages, seek outside help from reputable organizations and business recovery centers.

Contact your bank, lenders, suppliers, clients, and anyone else who needs to be kept up to date with missed payments or deadlines. Most people will be understandable if you respond promptly.

 

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

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