Category Archives: Uncategorized

Celebrating AAPI Heritage: This Month and Always

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! As we reflect on the important impacts that Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent have made on communities across California, we would like to take a moment to recognize the amazing members of the California Capital team that identify as Asian American and/or Pacific Islander, and share the stories of AAPI-owned businesses. 

Designated months to honor the contributions of historically underrepresented groups to American society are vital to celebration and education — but just as folks who identify with those groups work day in and day out to uplift themselves and their communities, we must remember to highlight them regularly, regardless of the month.

Meet Our Team

Our staff represents a variety of ethnicities and cultures from across Asia and the Pacific Islands, mirroring the vibrant and diverse backgrounds of the cultures we serve across California. Scroll through the gallery below to meet our team! 

Deborah Lowe Muramoto, President & CEO

May Masunaga (left), Chief Financial Officer

SiewYee Lee-Alix, Director, Sacramento Valley SBDC

Nguyen Nguyen, Sacramento Valley SBDC

Genevieve Duque, Program Coordinator, Women's Business Center

Sarah Harding, Program Manager, Women's Business Center

James Aldea, Procurement Counselor, APEX Accelerator

Michael Aguillio, Procurement Counselor, APEX Accelerator

Celebrate AAPI-Owned Businesses

According the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, 2.9 million businesses in the United States are AAPI-owned, creating 4.9 million jobs. With these numbers, there are plenty of opportunities shop AAPI-owned year-round! In fact, some of our most inspiring success stories are of AAPI clients. Click below to read more: 

Stay in the Know: Read the Hmong Daily News

The Greater Sacramento Area has a large, strong Hmong population. In order to keep folks in the community connected to one another, and keep the broader public informed of issues important to their Hmong neighbors, Macy Yang (a Sacramento Valley SBDC business advisor) created and runs the Hmong Daily News. Start reading today to stay in the know! 

Business Ownership and Government Contracting Assistance from APEX Accelerator Helps Danishia Colbert and Her Family Thrive

For Danishia Colbert, entrepreneurship has been a path to stability and independence for her family. In 2022, after complications from childbirth resulted in her younger sister having a variety of chronic conditions that limit her ability to work a full-time job, Danishia and her husband launched Wall 2 Wall Cleaning Services. As an after-hours janitorial service specializing in office spaces and large buildings, Danishia can operate the business while keeping her day job with the State of California Department of Human Resources, and provide gainful, flexible employment for her sister and other family members.   

With her background in state work, Danishia knew that contracts with state and federal government agencies would be a way to build a sustainable business with reliable clients. Starting down this path, she turned to the California Capital APEX Accelerator to work with a counselor and learn the basics of contracting, from certifications to finding projects to bid on.  

 “I’m very resourceful, so I went to the APEX Accelerator to avoid challenges,” says Colbert, reflecting on the start of her business journey. “If I could save myself a headache, why not? That’s why I went: you don’t have to learn everything the hard way.”   

Working with Alex McCracken, her procurement counselor, Danishia did market research to determine that janitorial service would be a steady industry, wrote her capabilities statement, obtained her Woman-Owned Small Business certification, Service-Disabled Veteran certification, and join the online databases that would allow her to bid on jobs.  

Since launching in 2022, Wall 2 Wall Cleaning has won and performed on contracts with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), the San Joaquin Valley Cemetery, and the California Conservation Corps. Danishia was also selected to participate in the prestigious Veterans in Procurement (VIP) program in Washington, D.C.  

“I have a great [APEX Accelerator] counselor. She connects me to different communities. A lot of the contracts I’ve gotten are because she’s connected me,” explains Danishia. “Having an APEX Accelerator counselor is like starting the game on second base: why wouldn’t you? It’s a big advantage.” 

Moving forward, Danishia is looking forward to working on strategies for growth, and becoming an expert in her industry. “I’m excited about being more strategic and proactive with my business – simple things like setting my books up in advance,” she says. “I’m doing a lot of learning and utilizing every resource.”

With Funding from California Capital, Maisie’s Place Promotes Growth for Their Clientele

The team that founded Maisie’s Place, a nonprofit that provides in-home supportive living services to adults with disabilities, started by seeking to fulfill a need.  Realizing that the level of service available to developmentally disabled adults living on their own in the Greater Sacramento area could be elevated, Patricia Costanza co-founded Maisie’s Place with her daughter and husband.  

Working as a vendor of the Alta California Regional Center, Maisie’s Place launched in early 2023 and provides services to clientele in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Nevada counties.  

The Maisie’s Place staff provides 24/7 services to their clientele, working with them to  achieve their goals for independent living, which range from learning how to clean their apartment and count money to using public transport on their own. Most importantly, says Costanza, their clients get involved in their communities.  

“When someone gets into supportive living services, our responsibility is to get them out the front door,” she explains.  “That could mean joining Special Olympics or even grocery shopping and making the right choices in the grocery store. It’s all meant to support them to be able to deal with life a little better.”  

Though they had the expertise to bring their vision to life, accessing funding was another obstacle entirely.

THE RIGHT FINANCING FIT

With contracts from the Alta California Regional Center, which assists people with developmental disabilities build a team of supportive specialists, Maisie’s Place was not subject to the same type of risk that other enterprises experience: they knew where their work would come from. But to maintain the payroll for their staff—which grew quickly—in between contract payments, Costanza and her team knew that they would need some financing support.  

“We went out to banks with marvelous binders filled with all of our information: our contracts, the money we would need, the low risk,” says Costanza, who was by then working as the CEO of the organization. “A friend in the banking industry told me: you’re a start-up, and a nonprofit. Nobody’s gonna give you anything. But I’ve never believed that.”  

When following leads from traditional banks, the Maisie’s Place team was met with the foretold resistance—not for lack of preparation, but simply because their need did not match the large business plans that banks provide. Not wanting to take on more debt than was necessary, Costanza’s determination eventually led her to speak with the California Capital Lending Center’s Business Development Officer, Brian Zscheile.  

After working with the Board of Directors of Maisie’s Place to establish a line of credit for payroll, Costanza was able to take out a microloan through California Capital to cover the overhead set up expenses of Maisie’s Place.  

“Brian worked his magic and everyone [at California Capital] was just wonderful,” says Costanza of the loan application process. “What impressed me the most was that our fight became California Capital’s fight, and that’s highly unusual. Nobody takes things personal these days, but [they] did.”

SUPPORT FOR GROWTH

With a dedicated executive team, highly qualified support staff to provide 24/7 services to their clients and a Board of Directors invested in the mission, Maisie’s Place is poised to broaden their impact.  

After seeing the difficulties that disabled adults experience in accessing safe, affordable housing, the team’s vision for the future is clear: expand housing opportunities for disabled adults by increasing availability.   

As Costanza explains it, the goal of creating systems where disabled adults can live independently and participate in their local communities is hindered by a lack of affordable housing and stringent income requirements that preclude them from even applying.  

 “I have one goal,” she says. “I would like Maisie’s Place to have a piece of property with a duplex so that I can guarantee four or five clients a home that they can afford. We could control the rent so we can rent to them at whatever their income level is, and always keep a room open in case we get a client that needs crisis housing.”  

With a deep commitment to and respect for the people they serve, the Maisie’s Place team is having a positive ripple effect on local communities by empowering disabled adults to build life skills and live with dignity. As a mission-based lender, California Capital is able to participate in building a better world through the enterprises that we fund. 

With a loan from California Capital, Edwin Balli is Transforming Rio Pub into a Community Hub

Edwin Balli isn’t new to business ownership—but with the purchase of Rio Pub in Rio Linda, California, he is taking on restaurant ownership for the first time. This year, Balli worked with Sacramento Valley SBDC and the California Capital Lending Center to enter the restaurant business and relaunch Rio Pub as a neighborhood institution.   

With a background in the tech industry, Balli launched his first business building custom computers and point-of-sale systems for small businesses with a college friend in 2012. From there, working as a business systems analyst for firms like LinkedIn and Facebook, Balli refined his skills of keeping a business running, so that by November of 2022 when he was ready for a pivot away from Silicon Valley, he was prepared to step back into business ownership.  

Knowing that he did not want to start a new enterprise from scratch, Balli worked with a broker to search for turnkey businesses on the market to buy. His one stipulation: he was not looking for businesses in the restaurant industry. “Then Rio Pub came up,” Balli says, laughing. “We came to see it and instantly fell in love with the neighborly vibe and the friendly people.”

Tapping Into Resources

Balli instantly envisioned the ways that he could revamp the space—he was sold, and he was looking to buy. To prepare to make an offer and enter unfamiliar business terrain, Balli worked with Panda Morgan, a business advisor with Sacramento Valley SBDC, a program of California Capital FDC.   “I had built business plans for start-ups, but never for an existing business,” he says, explaining that different considerations in the formatting and growth projections. “Working with Panda is what helped me realizing that [the business] was viable.”  

 

After working out what his purchase offer would be and the capital infusion he would need to make it possible, Balli was referred to the California Capital Lending Center to apply for a loan. Without restaurant industry experience, Balli had a hard time finding funding opportunities from traditional lenders—but as a mission-based lender, California Capital was able to take a holistic approach and consider Balli’s business experience and detailed business plan. Ultimately, Balli was approved for funding and celebrated the grand re-opening of Rio Pub in October of 2023. Continuing to work with his business advisor, Balli is honing his skills in accounting, managing inventory, and is applying his business analyst background to assess his progress and plan for growth.  

Creating a Community Hot Spot

Since opening, Balli has worked hard to build trust in the local community and establish a steady clientele base. “I want to get the ‘new owner, new mentality’ message to the community,” explains Balli. “We’re hosting events and making the space more family-friendly. The first thing I bought when I got the place was an arcade machine.” 

To be sure, Balli is well on his way to hosting events every night of the week: their current calendar boasts brunch on Sundays, Taco Tuesdays, Trivia Wednesdays and Karaoke Thursdays. Another local business, D-Dub’s Grubs, rents the kitchen space and serves up innovative and indulgent eats for the pub’s customers.  The consistency is paying off, says Balli. “My goal is to pub Rio Pub on the map beyond Rio Linda and get clients from areas like Natomas, Antelope, and Elverta.  I’m getting feedback from bartenders that they’re seeing new faces.”   

With a clear vision and the skills, expert advisors, and community buy-in to make it a reality, Edwin Balli is well on his way to making Rio Pub a destination for family-friendly fun.

By Making Better Cider, Ashlee and Jon Hoag Are Making Cider Better

Before they owned and operated their own cidery in Auburn, CA, Ashlee and Jon Hoag were home brewers with strong opinions on what makes good cider.  After a trip to visit friends in Colorado, where the cider surpassed what they could find in California, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands. “We asked ourselves, ‘where are we going with this?’” Ashlee recalls, reflecting on their 13 years of home-brewing. “Why don’t we just make the cider we like here?”  

Knowing that they could use their experience and techniques to innovate the local cider scene, the couple pivoted their careers to full-time cidermaking and launched Ponderosa Cider.  With a loan from California Capital, Ashlee and Jon opened the Ponderosa Cider Company cidery and taproom in Auburn in March of 2023, and quickly became a community staple known for their lively events and commitment to local agriculture.  

A Sweet Spot to Start

Inspired by the possibility of redefining California cider, Ashlee and Jon decided to operate in Jon’s hometown of Auburn, California, where they knew they could take advantage of the region’s diverse and abundant fruit to craft truly unique ciders. “We want to take the historic fruit industry of the [Sierra Nevada] Foothills and repurpose it,” explains Jon, adding that they have been able to use fruit from seemingly fallow orchards and even repurpose a peach orchard’s unused fruit press. “We’re hoping to build that industry while also building the cider industry.” 

To elevate their technical prowess as cidermakers, Ashlee and Jon each completed hands-on courses through Cornell University and UC Davis. The pair was confident in their expertise, but without direct experience in the manufacturing industry or as business owners, finding the financing to fund their start-up costs was tricky. They were eventually recommended to California Capital and worked with a business mentor before moving forward with applying for a loan.  

“We thought it would just be a way to vet our business plan for other application, but we learned so much,” explains Ashlee. “We fine-tuned our financial projections and reevaluated what it would actually cost to start the business. It was a great education.”  

Success is Brewing

With support from their mentor, Ashlee and Jon were able to secure funding from the California Capital Lending Center, which they put to use right away.  They used the funds to purchase industrial brewing and manufacturing equipment, secure a lease on their location in Auburn, and hire and train a fulltime cidermaker. “We now have over 135 wholesale accounts from Tahoe to Vacaville,” Jon says, reflecting on their first few months in operation. “That has been a great way to build our brand.” In addition to establishing a statewide presence, since opening the cidery and attached taproom, Ashlee and Jon host an array of community events, from half-marathon finish lines to weekly trivia nights.  

“We want to make sure we’re bringing people with us as we go,” Ashlee says. Moving forward, the founders are excited to continue to demonstrate just how good cider can be, one bottle at a time.  

With Grand Opening of BAE’s Education, Briana A. Esquivel Diaz Sees a Bright Future for Sacramento’s Kids

For Briana Esquivel, founder, owner and operator of BAE’s Education, school is more than just a place for children to pass the time. Living through adversity in childhood, Esquivel leaned on education as a means to build success and have a positive impact in her family and community. A first-generation high school graduate and college student, Esquivel is now in the final stages of completing her Doctorates in Education at CSU Sacramento and has built her career around creating early childhood education programs for a variety of institutions. This year, she is celebrating the opening of the first location of BAE’s Education, a non-profit/for profit multicultural state-funded preschool and privately-owned child development center. With support from the Women’s Business Center, Esquivel has created a strategic business plan that will allow her to reach children from underserved communities with holistic and inclusive education and grow a new generation of leaders.

"We're Here for the Children"

Growing up, despite instability being a facet of her home life, Esquivel’s parents always ensured that she had access to good schools. “My parents wanted me to break the generational curse,” she says, explaining the critical role that schools should play in supporting the entirety of a child’s development, not just academics. “Children need stability–they need to be ensured, ‘I don’t have to worry about surviving because my school’s got me’.”

Esquivel first began to develop her philosophy and expertise through her teaching practicum in early childhood education within Los Rios Community Colleges, and eventually CSU Sacramento where she’s obtaining her master’s in educational leadership and policy and through her work in program and curriculum development through projects within early childhood education centers and school districts locally. When the Covid-19 pandemic caused schools across the country to shut down, with marked negative impacts on children’s educational attainment, Esquivel decided take action, aiming to provide consistent and relevant educational settings.

With her wide range of experience working on the ground with communities to develop programs for students, she knew that she could open her own education centers that would go beyond what was possible at existing schools. The concept for BAE’s Education–which stands for Before Anything Else, Education–was born out of the need to ensure that communities could stay connected to care and education for their children. Esquivel joined together with colleagues and envisioned a learning environment that would serve students from underserved populations and empower their families as well. “We evaluate demands, and serve them,” she says. “That’s our number 1 priority. We’re here for the children.”

Leveraging Business Support

With a federal grant in partnership with the State of California, Department of Social Serivces and the U.S. Department of Education, Esquivel and her co-founders were able to begin developing locations for BAE’s Education schools in Sacramento and Elk Grove. Working with a Women’s Business Center counselor, Charles Thomas, Esquivel navigated the technical side of her new enterprise, writing a business plan, creating a budget, and learning how to operate a business.

The Sacramento location, on Mather Road, will celebrate their grand opening next month on November 17. The locations were chosen strategically to be available to lower income neighborhoods, and BAE’s Education will offer education and care for infants and toddlers, preschool, transitional kindergarten,

and school-aged children. To help elevate communities, the centers will offer before and after school programs for students up to grade six, as well as dual-language immersion programs, which allow English-learners to increase literacy in their first language while learning English.

Esquivel sees all of her efforts as an investment in the future of Sacramento. “Our motto is ‘Saving Sacramento, one neighborhood at a time,’” she says. “We would love to be in as many neighborhoods as have the demand. There are still families that need care, growing communities that need love and need people to invest in them and their children.

Through the Women’s Business Center, Lonje Deschamps Found Community and Confidence

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Lonje Deschamps was in a unique position to evaluate her career trajectory.  She and her family were returning to her hometown of Sacramento after several years in the Bay Area, and she was able to take some time away from her full-time job. After years in social services and nonprofits, Lonje knew that she was ready to shift her focus from a public-facing role to focusing on more administrative and operational tasks. She began assisting small business owners she was already connected with, and the idea to create her own business was formed.

 “Because of my background in social services, I am able to understand a wide variety of people’s needs,” explains Lonje. “I reflected on all of the tasks that I really enjoyed from my past jobs, and that became what LD’s Business Services encompasses.”  

Applying her background in nonprofit management, social services, and human resources Lonje helps small business clients organize and elevate their operations. She provides business owners with grant writing and research services, copywriting and marketing strategy, employee recruitment and hiring, and is also a certified Notary Public. Through this wide and evolving scope of services, Lonje acts as a “virtual assistant”, empowering entrepreneurs to focus on the elements of their business about which they are more passionate. 

Building Community

An organized and ambitious person, Lonje knew the logistical steps she needed to take when she was ready to start her own business. She acquired the proper licenses and certifications, but didn’t take the idea beyond those initial steps. Ultimately, it was the guidance and encouragement of her Women’s Business Center (WBC) counselor that prompted her to launch publicly. “My counselor showed me how focused I was, and it was great to have someone to bounce my ideas off of,” says Lonje, adding that even with her own motivation, external support was a huge benefit. “We all need support and for someone to tell us we’re on the right track.”  

With this confidence, Lonje launched her website, began marketing her services and building her client base. By maintaining her connection to the WBC, Lonje has received client referrals and built a community of likeminded women business owners. Lonje has been a regular member–and a guest speaker–at the WBC’s monthly Motivated Entrepreneur networking events, which she says has kept her engaged and inspired. “Having other women that are in varying stages of business ownership to collaborate with and talk to helps you not feel alone,” she says. “The most important thing has been the camaraderie, because I’m already a structured person. Being able to discuss issues and successes has been very helpful.” 

“It Keeps My Brain Active”

Lonje currently maintains a full-time job while operating her business, but she is excited to continue building something based off of her own vision, with total creative freedom. “My business allows me to constantly evolve and pivot,” says Lonje. “It keeps my brain active.” 

Moving forward, Lonje hopes to expand her offerings to include more training for business owners, including an online grant writing and research course, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training. “Working with the WBC has helped me be comfortable with the constant evolution of my business,” she says. “I am excited to keep growing.”   

Remembering Clarence Williams, California Capital FDC’s Founding President & CEO

It is with heavy hearts that the California Capital FDC staff remembers the legacy of our founding President and CEO, Mr. Clarence Williams. Clarence passed away on May 8, 2023. Clarence was the President and CEO of California Capital FDC from 1982 until his retirement in 2019, and continued to serve as Board Chair until his passing.  

Over the course of over five decades, Clarence dedicated his career to promoting racial and economic equity and justice. A trailblazer in the field of small business, community and economic development, Clarence was a recognized authority on advancing access to capital and resources for small business owners from historically  underserved communities. During his tenure, California Capital grew from a non-profit corporation dedicated to administering the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with three vibrant technical assistance programs and a mission-based direct lending program. In addition to creating equitable underwriting practices during his time with California Capital, Clarence was also a founding Board member of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, a longtime board member of the California Reinvestment Coalition, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and the National Community Capital Association (now Opportunity Finance Network).

A dedicated and humble steward of California’s small business ecosystem, Clarence will also be

remembered as an inspiring and spirited leader. Throughout his career, Clarence was a trusted speaker at community events and a natural matchmaker, often fostering connections between stakeholders in civil society, elected offices, and the private sector. Indeed, Clarence was a generational visionary whose living legacy persists not only in fond remembrances, but in the work that continues to be undertaken by the organizations he built and the individuals he mentored.  

 

To be sure, Clarence will always be thought of as a dear friend and mentor to multiple generations of changemakers. In addition to his busy professional life, Clarence was also an active member of the Allen Chapel AME Church for over 50 years. Clarence will be missed by his community members and family in Sacramento, and his family in his home state of Ohio.  

Every day, California Capital FDC staff seeks to honor Clarence’s vision through our work of supporting small business owners and championing increased opportunity for underserved populations. We are grateful to have been led for so many years by such a gracious and innovative soul.  

In Clarence’s memory, donations can be made to Allen Chapel AME Church, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation or California Capital FDC-Clarence Williams Community Benefit Legacy Fund. 

With Local Fresh Eats Grocery Delivery Service, Michelle Duong Matches Conscious Consumers with Regenerative Farmers

Michelle Duong, founder and CEO of Local Fresh Eats, knows firsthand what goes into environmental stewardship. Working as a conservation scientist for over 10 years at local and global organizations, Michelle developed a “big picture” perspective on humans’ relationship with Earth’s natural resources. Seeing that the largest impact on land use comes from food production, she began to seek out farms that espoused practices of regenerative agriculture–a land management philosophy that recognizes the interconnectedness of ecosystems through farming techniques that benefit biodiversity, soil health, waterways, and more. “There are farms that are already managing the natural resources on their private property, but how is it affecting their bottom line?” explains Michelle. “It’s almost like they’re making a sacrifice, and I wanted to provide market incentive and reward farmers for doing that and make it easier for consumers to find those farmers.” Michelle knew that, for regenerative practices to spread, someone would have to bridge the gap between environmentally minded producers and consumers.     

With this in mind, she founded Local Fresh Eats, a grocery delivery service that provides regular deliveries of fresh, seasonal goods to subscribers.  Michelle works directly with farmers to exercise her expertise and provide her customers with quality products and opportunities for education beyond what is commonly available.    

THE CHALLENGE 

With a clear vision for her online farmers market, and a list of farmers in the Greater Sacramento area from whom to source, Michelle began working on the technical aspects of running a business.

A typical Local Fresh Eats delivery.

As a first-time entrepreneur, Michelle knew she would need assistance from the start.  She had begun a simple business plan, but questions of choosing a legal structure, licenses, permits, and insurance needs persisted. She connected with the California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC) and was matched with Business Counselor Prashante Bailey.  

THE GAMEPLAN  

Michelle worked with Prashante to lay the foundations of her business. With expert guidance, Michelle completed her business legal filing, worked on financial projections, developed a marketing strategy, and built a website. In November of 2022, Michelle made her first deliveries through Fresh Local Eats, and continued working with the WBC to refine her operations and marketing strategy.  

A key focus of her business strategy since launching has been to increase revenue by keeping overhead costs low. “I love that the WBC takes a holistic approach, helping in so many aspects of being an entrepreneur,” says Michelle. “It’s been essential for helping me fill in knowledge gaps and helping with overwhelm.” At Prashante’s suggestion, Michelle has forgone paying for social media advertising, raised her prices, and taken classes on marketing, taxes, and mental health.  

THE RESULTS  

Less than four months since launching Local Fresh Eats, Michelle broke even on revenue in February of 2023. Having someone with an outside perspective of what strategies and strengths to leverage has been key to growing her client base and list of vendors while keeping a close eye on her cash flow. “My husband definitely notices the before and after of talking with Prashante,” says Michelle.  “He can’t believe how much I get out of just a one-hour phone call!” 

In upcoming years, Michelle’s vision is to become a household name as Sacramento’s online farmers’ market. She hopes to make local, nutritious food accessible to families who don’t have the opportunity to attend in-person markets or otherwise rely on delivery services. “Sacramento is a great place for this type of business,” she says. “We have so much opportunity: a yearlong growing season, different scales of farms doing amazing conservation work, and an established culture of supporting local farmers.” While adding clients, Michelle is also leveraging her website blog and social media presence to educate on regenerative agriculture and other sustainability topics. With ever-increasing impact, Local Fresh Eats is on track to be an important piece of the Sacramento region’s sustainable food system.  

To learn more or become a Local Fresh Eats Client, please visit: localfresheats.com

California Capital Women’s Business Center helps bring digital transformation to diverse small businesses in Northern California with Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

In partnership with Next Street and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Verizon Small Business Digital Ready aims to focus on women- and minority-owned businesses in under-resourced communities 

The online curriculum will provide resources and in-depth support – including coaching, networking and incentives 

Sacramento, California—July 14, 2022—Today, California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC) announced its plan to help bring a new online curriculum to small businesses across Northern California: Verizon Small Business Digital Ready. In partnership with Next Street and LISC, the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online curriculum is designed to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital economy, including access to personalized learning plans, coaching from experts and networking opportunities with diverse, industry-specific businesses.   

More than 100,000 small businesses closed due to the pandemic, with a disproportionate impact on Black and Lantinx-owned small businesses. Verizon Small Business Digital Ready offers businesses support, aiming to enable digital readiness and drive digital transformation through a customized curriculum that accounts for industry, size and interests. The California Capital WBC is proud to be working with Verizon to reach those businesses most in need of support within Northern California.  

Developed by small businesses, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready provides a personalized experience – providing resources, networking and coaching tailored to a small business’s specific needs. The program can help small businesses move forward in four ways: 

  • Personalized Learning 

Content presented by small businesses through brief, information-packed lessons small businesses can use right away.  

  • Expert Coaching 

Guidance from business experts across marketing, business planning, legal, and more.  

  • Peer Networking 

Connections to other small businesses to build their networks. 

  • Incentives 

A marketplace of tools, solutions, products and services that can help small businesses. Participants will also be eligible to apply for grant funding exclusive to users of Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.1 

To register and access, click here. 

This initiative is one part of Verizon’s commitment to providing one million small businesses with digital tools and resources by 2030 and is central to Verizon’s responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon, for economic, environmental and social advancement. Launched in 2020 to move the world forward for all, Citizen Verizon leverages technology, innovation and resources to address the world’s most pressing issues across digital inclusion, climate protection and human prosperity. As part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon plans to exceed $3 billion in its responsible business investment from 2020-2025 to continue helping vulnerable communities bridge the digital divide and prepare for the digital economy of the future.  

ABOUT VERIZON 

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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