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 program, microbusinesses 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]
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]