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Foothill Workforce Investment Board Small Business Seminar

Maintaining the Competition Edge

Chambers of Commerce (including Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, South Pasadena, and Altadena), the Small Business Administration, 148 business owners, the Employment Development Department, the Labor Department, and several other organizations met recently taking Business to the next level by bringing the San Gabriel Valley a Small Business Forum. The goal of the Forum was to provide small business owners in the San Gabriel Valley and cities of Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Altadena and Irwindale the opportunity to acquire the vital skills needed to take their business to the next level.

Joumana Barakat, Foothill WIB Business Services Liaison spoke on how globalization and outsourcing are taking their toll on small businesses everywhere.  She also emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among all the key players to continue to provide information sessions, workshops and seminars to the local businesses to insure their competitive edge. 

Philip L. Dunn, Foothill Workforce Investment Board Executive Director spoke of the role of the Foothill WIB in the area and the business services it provides to business owners at no cost. Dunn elaborated on the ability of the Foothill WIB to provide recruitment services and qualified applicants to help develop the local workforce at no cost.   Dunn encouraged the participants to network and visit with their local chambers and take advantage of all the services that is being put at their finger tips that day.

Daniel Morales San Gabriel Valley SBDC Director shared with the participants the services his organization offers. Morales also spoke of the vitality of small businesses and the undeniable value of collaborations such as the one presented that day. 

The forum featured Alberto G. Alvarado, Director for the Los Angeles District office of the Small Business Administration as the keynote speaker. Alvarado emphasized the role small businesses play in the strength of the national economy in general, and the local economy in particular. Alvarado reminded the small business owners how much they are needed in the region and the services the SBA have in place to help them.

The forum provided two tracks: one on Marketing and another on Finance.  The Marketing Track featured topics that focused on how to grow your business, e-marketing, and the importance of exceptional customer service.  The finance track focused on how to access capital, information on programs for business owners, and how banks and investors lend money to small businesses

Counselors from the San Gabriel Valley SBDC were also available for one on one appointment. The Foothill Workforce Investment Board, the San Gabriel Valley SBDC, the local chambers, the Employment Development Department, and several other organizations exhibited their business resources and allowed the participants the opportunity to network and have first hand information on services available.

The forum was well received as reflected by the positive evaluations from the attendees.  The Foothill WIB and the San Gabriel Valley SBDC will continue to collaborate to provide small business owners the information they need.  A series of seminars are provided each month by both organizations. 

To learn more about the services of the Foothill WIB, please visit their website at  Information on San Gabriel Valley SBDC can be found