May 14, 2024

Yesterday, the California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC) had the honor of hosting California First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, for a luncheon honoring California’s women entrepreneurs.  

Presented in partnership with the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (also known as CalOSBA, part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development) with sponsorship from U.S. Bank, the event sought to highlight the unique contributions of women business owners to the economy and their communities.  

Women-owned businesses are vital to our communities, as women tend to lead with our values, considering not only our own bottom lines, but the success of our communities,” said the First Partner in a statement on her Instagram page following the event.  

May 7, 2024

The sustainability of small businesses is always worth celebrating—and when that comes with an official award, all the better. On Friday, May 3rd, two small businesses that have worked with California Capital programs were honored at the 2024 SBA Sacramento District Small Business Awards, as part of National Small Business Week. The awards were presented to ExcelDent Dentistry and Anvaya Solutions at a luncheon ceremony in distinct categories.  

May 2, 2024                                                                 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.

April 10, 2024

A typical morning for Patrick Bellard begins at 3:45: he is up, finished with his workout, and ready to take on the day’s work orders by 6.  He’ll start his shift at a hauling service, delivering materials for various construction projects including freeways and community development, attend classes in business administration at CSU Sacramento in the afternoon, and return home to spend time with his two daughters. With this ambition and dedication to providing a steady livelihood for his family, Patrick decided in late 2023 to purchase a semi-truck and trailer of his own to begin building his own construction delivery company, Timeless 500.  

March 21, 2024

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.  

February 20, 2024 | Posted from Sacramento Valley SBDC 

Jason Poole, co-founder of Midtown Spirits and Preservation & Co, always knew that his award-winning Bloody Mary Mix would be a good fit for the Sacramento International Airport. “People drink [Bloody Mary’s] before going on flight, it’s always been a goal to have our mix served in the airport,” he says. “We hadn’t thought about having a location in airport, though.” But after learning about the Transportation Procurement training series, a yearly opportunity for small businesses to learn about doing business with transportation agencies, Jason and his business partner Dave Abrahamsen opened their minds to a new vision.  

February 9, 2024

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.

January 10, 2024

For Joe Wilson and Jesse Ledin, owners of Bear & Crown Pub, opening a British eatery in Northern California was a new endeavor in their personal and professional lives—but in many ways, it was familiar territory.  The restaurant, which celebrated its grand opening in August of 2023, is an embrace of the unique backgrounds of each of its founders.   

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Ledin has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for nearly two decades, with experience ranging from banquet catering to overseeing restaurant openings, while Wilson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) bringing extensive accounting experience and his British heritage to the enterprise.  Despite their experience, being a start-up restaurant presented challenges for accessing capital through a traditional bank loan—so when they were looking for funding to finalize their launch, they turned to California Capital and secured a loan that allowed them to complete their renovations of their Old Sacramento location.

December 18, 2023

For Ronald Burt, owner of The Lux Barber Lounge, styling services are not just another fact of lifethey’re an opportunity to feel your best. At his Midtown, Sacramento location, Ron provides his clients with barber and styling services designed to make them feel pampered and refreshed. Before launching The Lux Barber Lounge, Burt worked with Women’s Business Center business counselor, Prashante Bailey-Lewis. After meeting at a networking event through the WBC’s Motivated Entrepreneurs program, Bailey-Lewis helped Burt fine-tune his business plan and create financial projections to apply for funding through the California Capital Lending Center.  

December 1, 2023

Today, the City of Lodi Economic Development Department launches its partnership with Sacramento-based nonprofit California Capital Financial Development Corporation (FDC) to create a new loan program for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the City of Lodi. Through the Hometown Microloan Program, low-interest loans of up to $50,000 will be available to Lodi-based businesses with 10 or fewer employees.

November 27, 2023

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.

November 21, 2023

Next month, the Women’s Business Center will host the Final Round of their Small Business Showcase Pitch Competition, the capstone event of their Motivated Entrepreneurs networking program. Five entrepreneurs will present their business pitches at the free event, and the top three will receive cash prizes. The competing business owners were selected after completing the first round of the Small Business Showcase in November, where 13 total businesses presented for the chance to pitch at the larger event. 

The Final Round will take place on Tuesday, December 12 from 5pm-8pm atThe Dante Club. We hope you’ll join us to cheer on the finalists, learn what it takes to effectively pitch a business, and network with local small business champions.

November 10, 2023

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.  

October 27, 2023

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.

October 16, 2023 | Celebrating Women’s Small Business Month 

Like many industries have in recent years, construction companies are beginning to understand the importance of cultivating a diverse workforce. The Associated General Contractors of America released a report in 2018 detailing the business advantages of diversity and inclusion (including increased innovation and safety and reduced employee turnover), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Construction Inclusion Week October 16 through 20. Recognizing the need to prepare the industry for evolutions in workplace culture, environmental health and safety professional Tiana Drisker founded Hazard Eliminatorscreating occupational safety trainings and bringing a holistic approach to occupational safety that focuses on communication, situational awareness, and other soft skills

October 4, 2023 | Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Ask Pamela Marquez about the first time she drank agua de jamaica in Mexico,  and the answer will span generations. It did elicit ancestral memories in me,” says the Sacramento local, reflecting on her travels across the country. It empowered my body.”  Marquez founded Puzz e Gata Jamaica in 2020 to share the benefits of the sweetened, cinnamon-spiced hibiscus flower tea across Northern California, after being unable to find any product that matched the traditional recipes she had encountered in Mexico. This year, she began working with the Women’s Business Center to develop strategies for the sustainable growth and innovation of her mission.

 September 15, 2023 | Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

   Growing up, Martha Diaz spent plenty of time outdoors. After immigrating from Central Mexico to California with her family when she was 10, Diaz recalls family vacations spent at campsites and on long bike rides. In college, Diaz reached her goal of becoming an experienced backpacker–but in exploring the freeze-dried, ready-to-eat meals that backpackers take on their journeys, she was disheartened by the lack of Latin-inspired options. “When you’re doing something like backpacking, it has a pain point,” says Diaz. “To then have to eat food that you don’t otherwise eat is a double whammy of discomfort.”  To Diaz, this absence of authentic Latin meals was indicative of a deeper need to make outdoor hobbies more diverse and accessible to communities of color.  She knew she could change that.

August 15, 2023 | Celebrating National Black Business Month 

For Regina Range, business ownership is more than a profession: it’s a path to wellness for her family and her community. A mother and grandmother, Regina has survived domestic violence, homelessness, and mental illness, but always believed in the power of homemade food to nurture the body and soul.  With her event catering business, The Burnt Skillet, Regina offers soul food inspired by the cuisine of her childhood–but with a plant-based, organic twist. Regina’s journey to thriving as a business owner has been long, as she’s balanced economic uncertainty with concurrent diagnoses of Bipolar II Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Type II Diabetes.  

This year, in search of deeper support, Regina joined the Women’s Business Center’s Preparing for Harvest: Mental Health for Entrepreneurs 10-week course with business mindset coach Asia Hilario. With the resources and guidance provided during the series, Regina has come away empowered to take her business to the next level. 

August 1, 2023 | Celebrating National Black Business Month

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.” 

June 1, 2023

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, 2023Clarence 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.  [READ MORE] 

June 13, 2023

This week, Wells Fargo announced their sponsorship of a Financial Management Training Program for small business owners in Northern California, to be administered by Sacramento Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Butte College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). California Capital FDC is the host organization of Sacramento Valley SBDC. With the combined sponsorship of $30,000, the centers will host eight cohorts of the training series (four per center) from June 2023 to May 2024. The series will be offered at no charge to businesses throughout the eight counties that the two centers serve: Sacramento, Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Tehama, Colusa, and Glenn Counties. Each cohort will receive about eight hours of training. The series will be offered in-person and online. [READ MORE]


April 20, 2023

As of today, early giving for Big Day of Giving 2023 is open, bringing the opportunity to support hundreds of non-profits across the Sacramento region. This year, California Capital Financial Development Corporation is proud to participate in Big Day of Giving as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. We’re raising funds that will directly benefit diverse small business owners by allowing us to reach more entrepreneurs from marginalized communities with no-cost business development resources and access to capital. [READ MORE]

March 10, 2023 | Celebrating Women’s History Month

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. [READ MORE]

March 7, 2023

For Hayden Glenn, a sports psychologist and the co-owner of Queers & Allies Fitness, exercise has been more than a means to staying in good health.  A lifelong athlete, Hayden played multiple sports until a knee injury in college caused him to take a break. During this time, he reflected on his identity as an athlete as well as his gender identity, and decided to begin the gender transition process. While pursuing his Masters in Sports Psychology, Hayden became more involved in the community of LGBTQ athletes and learned about the experiences of Queer athletes. “What I learned was, particularly in the athletic community, there is a huge disparity in mental health–Queer athletes are more at risk of negative mental health outcomes,” he explains.  After coming out as trans, Hayden decided to combine his personal training and sports psychology coaching businesses and pivot to serving the trans population with services that would support the physical transition process (including pre- and post-op chest masculinization for female-to-male trans and non-binary folks who undergo top surgery) and address the mental experience of gender dysphoria through mental health coaching.   [READ MORE]

February 14, 2023

For Janine Anderson, working with Sacramento’s underserved youth populations is more than just a passion: it’s a family legacy. Growing up, Janine’s mother, Rosalie, would often open up their home to foster youth, providing an safe space for all children–Janine included–to learn how to navigate the real world. “She was always big on making sure that we were prepared to maintain a job, navigate the workforce, and communicate effectively with supervisors,” explains Janine. In 2007, Janine and her husband, Maurice, launched LaCar’s Legacy, a nonprofit that empowers youth with employment services including resume writing, interview strategies, and conflict resolution coaching. Now, with a new for-profit endeavor, Janine is bridging the gap between securing a job and what it means to thrive in the workplace. Working primarily with neurodivergent youth, Janine is launching Build a Sundae, an ice cream shop where youth will real-world experience and acquire transferable job skills. With support from her Women’s Business Center counselor, Janine has written a business plan that has allowed her secure a lease, to hit the ground running with pop-up events, and prepare for a grand opening in 2023. [READ MORE]

December 15, 2022 

For Sithumini Millawabandara, business ownership has been a creative expression. While working in a preschool nearly 10 years ago, Sithumini found herself coming up with many ideas for innovation that her employer was not willing to act on. With a degree in business, Sithumini knew that she was capable of running her own preschool center–and if she wanted to carry out her creative ideas, she would have to do it on her own.  [READ MORE]

November 29, 2022

As part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Revolving Loan Fund Week, California Capital lending client Dr. Haleigh Scott, founder and owner of Ascend Diagnostics and Support Services, was featured on the EDA blog. Click below to read the feature! [READ MORE] 

November 13, 2022

Jzonh Williams is a man of multiple entrepreneurial interests. With a background as a barber and a rapper, Jzonh began creating custom embroidery designs on hats and pants to express his unique style during performances. After gaining a following on TikTok featuring his embroidery work, Jzonh began to envision ways that he could expand his skillset and create a wider variety of custom pieces. He connected with Constance Agee, owner of Agee Fashion Institute and instructor of the California Capital Sewn Products Manufacturing Training Course. [READ MORE]

November 1, 2022

Across the nation, approximately 2.4 small businesses are owned by Veterans–that means that 1 in 10 small businesses are owned and operated by women and men who have served in a branch of the U.S. military*. This year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes October 31st through November 4th as National Veterans Small Business Week. This year, the events of the week will focus on the resilience and strength of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners.  

At California Capital Financial Development Corporation, we are proud to work with Veteran business owners and entrepreneurs to ensure that they can access the resources and opportunities to build thriving Veteran-Owned Businesses.  

Over the years, we have helped many Veterans obtain certifications; pursue, bid and perform on government contracts; and leverage the skills and resilience learned during their time serving the country to succeed in various industries. The stories we are honored to share are strong examples of the unique qualities that Veterans bring to their entrepreneurial journeys.  [READ MORE]

October 5, 2022 | Celebrating Women’s Small Business Month

From a young age, Michelle Honath has understood that clothes are more than just what we wear: they show the world who we are. The philosophy that personal style can function as a reflection of our values, ambitions, and quirks has informed much of Michelle’s career. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Michelle worked in product development for several multinational apparel brands. Inspired by the ethos of surf brands like Roxy and Billabong that empowered buyers to express their love for the outdoors, she took her knowledge of the fashion industry and set out on her own entrepreneurial journey. With Wildflower Daydreams, Michelle curates a collection of whimsical, Bohemian attire with the goal of helping customers embrace their free-spirited side. Now, with a loan from California Capital, Michelle is poised to make a greater impact in the Sacramento community with a new permanent retail location, opening next weekend. [READ MORE] 

October 3, 2022 | Celebrating Women’s Small Business Month 

In the spring of 2020, Brittney Hoffman felt that something was missing. As a school counselor, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic meant a shift to remote work, and less connection with the students she was used to seeing every day. To stay grounded, Brittney began to channel her energy into gardening, growing flowers, and learning new artistic skills, including creating planters in custom designs. Her friends took notice of the unique personality that Brittney brought to her creations, and began purchasing planters and dried floral arrangements. Soon, Brittney had a steady stream of orders keeping her busy.  While maintaining her day job, Brittney made her hobby official and launched Glass House Garden, building a brand that includes custom orders, workshops and pop-ups, and events. As her business has taken on a life of its own, Brittney has turned to the Women’s Business Center for guidance on managing her business growth, and taking an analytical approach to the not-so-artistic elements of business ownership. [READ MORE]

August 22, 2022 | Celebrating Black-Owned Business Month

When Melissa Muganzo Murphy (she/they/sis) reflects on her entrepreneurial journey, a common thread appears: advocacy for Black and Brown communities, driven by creativity. Growing up around artistry and music, Melissa learned early that her talents could provide her not only an income, but a platform to uplift those around her. With the continued mission of supporting Black dreams and leading as an example that Black Queer people can be successful, Melissa’s next entrepreneurial endeavor stems from a years-long battle with fibroids, and the holistic lifestyle changes that helped her manage the condition when traditional medicine failed.

In addition to releasing a documentary on her health journey and the medical oppression of marginalized groups, Melissa is working with the California CapitalWomen’s Business Center to launch Mindy’s Kitchen, a vegan, on-the-go salad line designed to be accessible to Black and Brown communities with less access to fresh, nutritious food. [READ MORE] 

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.  [READ MORE]

May 31, 2022

When Kellen Lor met Pedro Garcia in 2017, he wasn’t looking for a business partner. They both happened to be working on a music video for a mutual friend, and Kellen immediately admired Pedro’s skill behind the camera. Looking for tips on how to expand his filmmaking beyond self-education on YouTube, Kellen sought to pick Pedro’s brain. The pair quickly realized that their ambitions, artistic vision, and work ethic were aligned, and began creating together. The same year, they launched Hidden Temple Media, a film production house.  Now, with financing from California Capital, they’ve launched Imported Studios, a studio space with ready-made sets available for rent by fellow filmmakers–and they’re set to become key players in expanding opportunities for Sacramento’s diverse community of creators. [READ MORE]

May 17, 2022

This morning, California Capital Financial Development Corporation met a delegation of representatives from the National Assembly of Kosovo for a conversation on expansion of women’s economic participation and business development models. The delegation, whose trip was made possible through the Open World program of the Congressional Office for International Leadership and Global Ties Sacramento, consisted of Members of Parliament Ms. Tinka Kurti and Mr. Enis Kervan. Representatives of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and Lending Center provided insight into how California Capital addresses pressing local and universal business issues.

“Supporting microbusinesses can look different across cultures,” explains Deborah Lowe Muramoto, President of California Capital. “But we learned that the need for more people–particularly women and ethnic minorities–to successfully enter the workforce is common between Kosovo and California.” [READ MORE]

May 10, 2022

Today, the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) celebrated a new COVID-relief milestone — more than 10,000 jobs have been created or preserved for Californians operating or working at small businesses throughout the state since April of 2020.

Created through a $50 million investment by Governor Newsom, IBank’s COVID-19 Micro Loan Guarantee initiative gives lenders the confidence they need to lend to small- and microbusinesses that otherwise struggle to access capital at a time when they need it most. [READ MORE] 

April 5, 2022

Today, California Capital Financial Development Corporation (FDC) announced their participation as planners and hosts of Capital Region Small Business Week 2022, to take place May 2-7. Coinciding with National Small Business Week, Capital Region Small Business Week is the local series of educational, networking and celebratory events across the capital region.  With a week of virtual and in-person offerings, this year marks the first time the event has been held in full form since before the covid-19 pandemic.  [READ MORE] 

March 24, 2022

As a licensed general contractor and certified journeyman electrician, Ronald Turner serves the Stockton area with Turner & Turner Electric, Inc, which he co-owns with his wife, Jehnell Livingston-Turner. During the Great Recession of 2008, Ronald realized that residential and commercial contracting jobs would not provide steady business. Getting certified to bid on government contracts, particularly with the Department of Transportation, was the key to continue operating Turner & Turner Electric: In addition to the prospect of large projects, as a veteran, Ronald was eligible to certify Turner & Turner Electric as a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise and a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, which opens up unique resources and set-aside government contracts. [READ MORE]

March 11, 2022

When Brittany Flores got a call from a former colleague inviting her to be a partner in a new business venture, she knew she could not turn down the opportunity. Kathy Ramirez had spent decades at the construction staffing agency where she and Brittany met, and had seen the company stray from its “Mom and Pop” roots. She envisioned a staffing service that would prioritize the professional growth of the construction workers it employs, and committed to starting a new company. Inspired, and looking for change herself, Brittany accepted the offer.  When she began working on the business full time, Brittany turned to the Women’s Business Center (WBC) to learn the fundamentals of planning and launching a business. A year later, Kathy and Brittany have opened Construction Staffing Professionals, and have already begun hiring and securing job-placements for workers. [READ MORE]

March 9, 2022

After a year-long application, vetting and onboarding process, the Sacramento Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is open for business, and California Capital Financial Development Corporation (FDC) is thrilled about the opportunity to host the program. 

Previously called the Capital Region SBDC, the renamed Sacramento Valley SBDC is one of 16 service centers in Northern California where small businesses can get the help they need to start and grow their enterprise. [READ MORE] 

March 3, 2022

The Office of Economic Development is pleased to announce the new  Microbusiness Grant Program that is being funded by the State of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) and administered by the County. Through this programmicrobusinesses in the County that have been adversely affected by the pandemic will have the opportunity to apply to receive relief grants of $2,500. Application period runs from April 1-29 [READ MORE] 


First Foundation Inc., a financial services company with two wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors and First Foundation Bank, recently announced the recipients of its ‘Supporting Our Communities’ philanthropy initiative. California Capital Financial Development Corporation was named among the list of awardees. 

“We are grateful to accept a 2022 Supporting Our Communities grant from First Foundation,” says Deborah Lowe Muramoto, president and CEO of California Capital FDC. “With this support, California Capital will continue to provide business advising, training, and access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses, to meet the diverse needs of communities throughout our region.”  [READ MORE]


For Josephine Odom, the Founder and CEO of Stepping Stone Auto Sales, commitment to her business journey has meant everything. With over 30 years of professional and business experience, Josephine has always had a passion for helping others and ensuring they receive the best service and experience possible. Stepping Stone Auto Sales was inspired by Josephine’s desire to provide reliable transportation for individuals in underserved communities, and was established as a wholesale used car dealership in March of 2019. With support from the WBC, and a loan from the Lending Center, Josephine entered the retail car sales space in 2021. [READ MORE] 


For Caroline Bentley, starting a small business is part of a long-time dream of innovating her therapy practice. As a practicing psychotherapist with public, private, and non-profit organizations, Caroline spent 15 years envisioning techniques and programs whose implementation was not always possible. Now, with support from the California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC), her goals of business ownership and therapeutic innovation have dovetailed. This month, Caroline opened Sagepoint Intensive Outpatient Program, Elk Grove’s only IOP serving adults with substance use disorders and addiction problems. With support from a multidisciplinary team of highly credentialed professionals, Caroline carries out unique programming of her design. [READ MORE]


Like many entrepreneurs, Tahirah Jannah Taalib-Din started her business after identifying a problem that she could solve. Unlike most entrepreneurs, Tahirah’s business journey blossomed from the call to transform grief into a vehicle for healing in her community. The passing of her husband, Antar Jannah, in July of 2020 led Tahirah to found Hearts Connecting LLC, to offer virtual funeral services for families unable to meet in person, as well as faith-based grief counseling and support. After working with the California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC), Hearts Connecting LLC has expanded their services, and won first place at a recent national pitch competition, earning a $15,000 award. [READ MORE] 


For Asia Hilario, a certified Life Coach and successful mental health blogger and podcaster, the new year is the perfect opportunity to uproot the beliefs that are keeping us in cycles of burnout and stress. In addition to growing her own business, Ms. Hilario is the teacher of our upcoming eight-part mental health series, Preparing For Harvest, which begins January 14th. We sat down with her to discuss her business journey, tips for entrepreneurs to cultivate mental health, and why the harvest is a fitting metaphor for self-love. [READ MORE] 


When Emily Autenrieth attended a Facebook Community Summit in February of 2019, she didn’t intend to leave with a business idea. But two encounters led her to a vision for a new business that would meet a need for an inclusive bookstore and cafe in Sacramento County. Now, after building an online and pop-up business, Emily’s vision has come full circle with the grand opening of A Seat at the Table Bookstore and Cafe in Elk Grove. [READ MORE]


When speaking with small business owners, it becomes clear that for many, entrepreneurship starts with a mission. For Emily Sanders, that mission is profoundly personal. Through her nonprofit, Connect to Change, Emily has begun a mission of “Empowering Lives Today for Success Tomorrow!” by connecting women experiencing homelessness who have become victims of human trafficking on the street to the resources and support they need to escape abusive situations and build fulfilling lives. Last week, Emily won the Fall 2021 Startup to Success Pitch Competition. [READ MORE] 


Antronette Robsinson’s life has taken her down many paths: she is a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces, and a Registered Nurse serving as the Nurse Service Chief of Community Care with the Veteran Administration Health Care System. Most recently, she has taken on the role of entrepreneur, running Maestro Coffee House in Natomas while maintaining her full time job. In many ways, says Antronette, her training in the Army prepared her for the particular challenges of entrepreneurship.  


The California Capital Women’s Business Center’s second annual Small Business Success Series wrapped up today with the Small Business Awards & Recognition Ceremony. The series featured five days of business celebration, advice, and friendly competition. If you weren’t able to attend, check out the highlights below, and get excited for next year. [READ MORE] 


October is National Women’s Small Business Month, dedicated to celebrating the progress made each year by women entrepreneurs and business owners while also reflecting on the particular barriers to success they face.

A woman-owned business is defined as an enterprise that is at least 51% owned and operated by one or more women. As national priorities have shifted in recent decades to create resources encouraging women to pursue business ownership, the impact of women-owned businesses on the American economy has steadily grown. [READ MORE]


 Yesterday morning marked two significant achievements for the California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC). During the annual meeting of the Association of Women’s Business Centers, Sophia Kanaan, Director of California Capital’s WBC, was inducted into the association’s Board of Directors, and Charles Thomas was announced as the winner of the Advisor of the Year award. [READ MORE]


In a show of continued dedication to serving small businesses across the state with the highest quality technical assistance available, the California Capital PTAC has expanded its capability by certifying two of its counselors as trainers for the SBA-powered Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. As SBIR/STTR trainers, Alex McCracken and Ralph “Skip” Masters are now positioned to lead California Capital clients towards unique opportunities for business growth. [READ MORE]


For Megan Wyatt, owning and operating Wit & Whimsy Toys in Granite Bay, California has been a dream come true. Her first job was at a toy store when she was 16, and in the four years that she worked there, one of her major life goals was solidified: own and operate her own toy shop. When a job loss at the beginning of 2020 caused her to reevaluate her path, she turned to the Women’s Business Center (WBC) to figure out what it would take to make her dreams a reality. [READ MORE]


For entrepreneurs and business owners looking to access financial services, knowing what lenders look for in loan applicants is key. Specific criteria can vary based on the type of lending institution one is looking to work with, but most lenders determine the loan readiness of a potential borrower by looking at The 5 Cs of Credit. This method incorporates both qualitative and quantitative aspects to determine creditworthiness–leading to a well-rounded, contextualized profile of a business. [READ MORE]


Well over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Ernestine Winston is on an entrepreneurial journey she never envisioned for herself. With over ten years of experience as an independent hair stylist, Ernestine is now on a dual mission: she is growing her styling business, while also building a new enterprise offering textiles and other products with custom designs—and several Women’s Business Center courses have played a key role in setting her on that path. [READ MORE]


In March, a survey conducted by Yelp revealed that nearly half a million new businesses opened in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic, suggesting that the entrepreneurial spirit is difficult to quench. Illustrative of that fact is the Start-Up to Success Generator series offered by California Capital Business Consultant Natasha Palumbo, which just wrapped up its first 16-week run and saw a cohort of students graduate with a comprehensive startup business plan. Meet Marina Ocana, June Armstead, and Lamere Carter, the winning entrepreneurs of the Startup to Success Pitch Competition. [READ MORE] 


When Leslie Valdivia and Joanna Rosario-Rocha started Vive Cosmetics, the beauty industry was overdue for change. What has grown into an acclaimed national brand with a wide range of lip products began as a problem the pair knew they could solve: the need for authentic representation of the diverse Latina and Latinx communities that constitute the make-up industry’s largest consumer demographic. Now, as their influence grows, the founders are using a loan from California Capital’s Lending Center to expand their reach and continue effecting change. [READ MORE]


Two small business owners recently found success after a California Capital matchmaking event that connected them with large retailers at the Sacramento International Airport (SMF). While their stories showcase individual success, they also highlight the ways in which minority-owned small businesses can expand through unique avenues, and the growing breadth of airport-based concessionaire opportunities. [READ MORE]


California Capital FDC is committed to the success of Supplier Diversity Initiatives across the state, and connecting diverse small businesses with the procurement counseling, certification assistance, and training they need to acquire and perform on contracts. With this in mind, with the support of T-Mobile—a regulated telecommunications company—and California Water Association (CWA), California Capital undertook a statewide survey of diverse business owners to determine what barriers to access they experience when looking for procurement opportunities, and how capacity-building services can best respond to those needs. [READ MORE] 


Capital Region Small Business Week, the annual event that brings together small business experts from across the Sacramento region, will return in May with two days of webinars and online panels. Sponsored by Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD), the events on May 18th and 19th will take place virtually as restrictions on gatherings related to the Covid-19 pandemic remain in place across the region. [READ MORE]


Mack Thomas is a father, a Disabled United States Marine Corps Veteran, a Black business owner—and someone who knows good barbecue. With two family-operated MacQue’s Barbecue restaurant locations, Mack and his wife, Charlie, have spent 30 years serving the Sacramento community. Now, looking to diversify their operations and take advantage of opportunities to sell their bottled hot sauce around the country. Here’s how. [READ MORE]


California Capital FDC, Opening Doors, and Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) have received grants as part of the Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund program. The funds awarded to the three Sacramento-area Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are part of Well’s Fargo’s national effort to help small businesses recover and rebuild in the face of the economic effects of COVID-19. California Capital will receive a grant of $500,000. [READ MORE]


Constance Agee, founder and Executive Director of Agee Fashion Institute, believes that entrepreneurs are the key to bringing sewn products manufacturing back to the United States—but her own entrepreneurial journey began largely out of happenstance. [READ MORE] 


Judy Fletcher, California Capital FDC’s Chief Lending Officer, was interviewed on the ABC 10 program Your California Life on Friday, February 26. Judy spoke with host Aubrey Aquino about how California Capital has helped businesses adapt to the economic impacts of Covid-19, and provided insight on what options are available to small business owners looking for access to capital and technical assistance. [READ MORE] 


For Allison and Larry Carlson of California Gold Kettle Corn, the Covid-19 pandemic has posed some unique challenges. In 2019, their young business was gaining momentum, and they planned to spend two years taking their kettle corn tent to as many fairs, festivals, and events as possible. They would spend carefully and save thoroughly and, in 2022, pay outright for a customized food trailer. But when Covid-19 took hold across the country, news of cancelled events started flooding in, and they needed to adapt—fast.  [READ MORE]