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.  


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.


How a Vision for a Vibrant Creative Economy Led Two Filmmakers to Open a Unique Creator Space in Sacramento With Funding from California Capital

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.   

Sacramento filmmakers

Pedro (L) and Kellen (R) worked at ABC 10 before launching their first business. Photo: Francisco Kuhl.

To be sure, the pair have come a long way in the past five years. “The first few years, we were working minimum 14-hour days,” explains Pedro who, along with Kellen, was working full time for ABC10 while establishing Hidden Temple. “The basic idea was that we were two hardworking individuals who had a similar goal, and could put our resources together and rely on sweat equity.” Through collaboration with local artists they trusted, they stayed focused and gained momentum.  

Hidden Temple’s capacity exponentially increased through a mentor partnership with media firm FutureNow, and Kellen and Pedro were able to hire two employees, maintain a cadre of contractors, focus on commercial and documentary work, and bring in steady money.   

Problem Solving, Business Growth

At this point, looking to decrease their workload while increasing capacity, the founders were ready to bring Hidden Temple into a larger, more established studio space. “We were trying to solve a problem, and we started a business,” laughs Pedro.  

The idea for Imported Studios was born at this juncture, and grew to fit within a goal shared by individuals and institutions across the city: developing and retaining Sacramento’s creative workforce.  

A lot of the problems we saw with creatives in Sacramento were with finding controlled locations [for filming],” explains Kellen. “You can get a short-term rental home, but once you start bringing in big lights and cameras, the owners don’t like it.”  

Expanding Sacramento’s Creative Capacity

As experienced Sacramento filmmakers, the pair knew that most creators in the area were traveling to Los Angeles to solve this problem by renting studios that included ready-made and customizable film sets.  

sacramento filmmakers

“The Greenery” set at Imported Studios.

“A lot of production studios in Sacramento only offer green screen infinity (or cyclorama) walls, which are great. But we didn’t want to blend in with the competition,” says Kellen. “We wanted to bring the L.A. demand up here and open a space for creatives to use it and bring money to Sacramento as well.”  

Ultimately, these aspirations defined what Imported Studios would offer. To stand out from other local studios, this new space would feature 24-hour availability to accommodate varied schedules; fully staged, 3-walled sets that filmmakers can customize to fit their vision; and a sound-dampened, warehouse location to allow creators to use sound and other special effects worry free.  

Accessing Capital

After translating their ideas into an actionable business plan, the search for financing began. In need of seed capital to build sets, secure a lease, and launch, Pedro and Kellen applied for funding through several banks–but because Imported Studios was a startup, traditional lenders were hesitant to take them on. That’s when their mentor at FutureNow suggested looking into non-traditional funding options, and they turned to California Capital.

Imported Studios launch event. Photo: Francisco Kuhl.

The loan application process, reflects Pedro, put the endeavor into perspective. “Getting financing was the biggest obstacle we’ve overcome as entrepreneurs,” he says, recalling the challenges the business partners faced during the early days of Hidden Temple. “We had multiple jobs back then, but we didn’t have as much weight on our shoulders, so failure wasn’t as scary. Now we have this other business so it’s higher stakes.”  

Partnerships and Service

Imported Studios ultimately received financing through the California Capital Lending Center, and opened their doors in April of 2022. They plan to begin expanding their clientele through events and workshops designed to get creatives in the door–both to see what the studio has to offer, and to dream up their own uses for the space. Beyond serving their own business interests, Kellen and Pedro want to see the space become a hub for building the Sacramento area’s creative workforce.   

“Sacramento hasn’t been known for media production. We want to change the narrative and let people know that we have experienced creators,” says Kellen. To have that impact, building connections with leaders will be crucial.  

sacramento filmmakers

Kellen and Pedro plan to use the warehouse space for workshops & trainings.

They plan to collaborate with the film program at Sacramento State to bring students in for free or discounted training and workshops, and they’ve met with the City’s official film office, Sacramento Film + Media, who is keenly interested in developing a strong contingent of local filmmakers. Through these partnerships, Imported Studios is poised to play a key role in establishing Sacramento as a renowned location for artists of all stripes to find success.  


California Capital Meets With Delegation of Kosovo National Assembly Members to Discuss Women’s Economic Participation

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.”

In-Depth Discussion

With the issue areas of particular importance to the visiting Members of Parliament including gender equality, microbusiness, and minority rights, the conversation focused on how California Capital’s technical assistance and lending programs are designed to serve and grow women- and minority-owned businesses.

Knowledge sharing included best practices for reaching specific communities with resources, and WBC Director, Sophia Kanaan, provided insight into specific programs–such as Licensed to Care–that provide culturally competent training to empower women to open and operate businesses. For their part, the representatives of the delegation, who were joined by a bicultural/lingual facilitator and an interpreter, shared context of the types of businesses that women in Kosovo typically own, and the ways in which the government supports microbusinesses in the country.

“We were honored to host this meeting with representatives from the National Assembly of Kosovo,” says Lowe Muramoto. “Any opportunity to share information and learn from others is one we are grateful to accept.”

Creating Global Ties

It is clear that, while systems and economies may differ, entrepreneurship is an important area of opportunity for populations around the world, and conversations like today’s are crucial to expanding the positive impact of business ownership.

More than 30,000 current and future leaders from post-Soviet era countries have participated in the Open World program. Open World offers one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs to promote mutually beneficial options for depolarized engagement between future national leaders. It is a unique but no less powerful tool for Congress to engage legislatures in critical regions of the world.

Global Ties Sacramento, a Division of World Trade Center Northern California

Global Ties Sacramento influences positive global change and fosters mutual understanding through the facilitation of professional, cultural, and educational exchanges. Connecting international leaders with the Greater Sacramento Region, they provide opportunities for people from around the globe to engage in meaningful dialogue, build relationships, and create a more peaceful world. Global Ties Sacramento is a division of World Trade Center Northern California, and a member of the Global Ties U.S. network. Global Ties Sacramento is the only organization of its kind in the Greater Sacramento and Central Valley regions. On an annual basis, Global Ties Sacramento hosts over 400 international visitors, contributing over $550,000 to the local economy through hotel stays, dining expenditures, and participation in cultural activities. In addition to the economic impact, their work expands cultural fluency, showcases global perspectives, breaks down barriers, and provides citizen diplomats the opportunity to shape and advance foreign policy goals.

COIL, a Support Agency of the Congress

Founded in 1999 by Congress, the Congressional Office for International Leadership (formerly known as the Open World Leadership Center) maintains a vast network of more than 30,000 alumni in strategic countries including Russia, Ukraine, and others in the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It’s Open World program supports legislative diplomacy efforts for Members of Congress by conducting exchanges that establish authentic communication and enduring relations that are maintained through its extensive alumni network. Program participants are provided with exposure to the work of Congress, American politics, accountable governance, and volunteerism while being home hosted by American families. To learn more about the Open World program, please visit


iBank Report: More than 10,000 Jobs Created or Preserved at California Small Businesses through COVID-19 Micro Loan Guarantees

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.

“Creating or retaining ten thousand jobs at the smallest of California’s small businesses is significant,” said IBank Executive Director Scott Wu. “IBank’s COVID-19 Micro Loan Guarantee initiative is not only helping small businesses keep the lights on and the doors open, it’s helping the owners and employees persevere through a dark and difficult time and emerge on the other side of the pandemic.”

Nonprofit Partnership


In partnership with California’s nonprofit Financial Development Corporations and lenders statewide, IBank — housed within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development — to date enabled California’s smallest businesses to access more than $92 million in approved loans.

“These are the moments you feel like your work matters; like you’re making a difference. Especially when you consider these businesses average five or fewer employees,” said Megan Hodapp, manager of IBank’s Small Business Finance Center. “IBank couldn’t do it without our Financial Development Corporation partners and the lenders who use our loan guarantees. They make all our work possible.”

Broad, inclusive outreach, largely aided by California’s mission-driven, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) ensured expanded access to the program, including access for underserved populations and underserved communities. Approximately 86% of the loan guarantees are serving small businesses owned by females or minorities or that are located in low- to moderate-income areas.

IBank’s loan guarantee programs have been incredibly successful with low rates of default, a testimony to the efficacy of the program. As a result, lenders are building confidence in small businesses’ ability to pay back loans that help those businesses start, grow, and thrive.


Capital Region Small Business Week Returns in May, Bringing Business Networking to Sacramento

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.  

“The small business owners of Greater Sacramento have been an incredible force during the ongoing pandemic,” says California Capital Women’s Business Center (WBC) Director, Sophia Kanaan. “In addition to honoring their impact and resilience, our hope with these events is to connect them to local experts and resources to help them thrive and grow.”  

Sharing expertise

Indeed, the line-up of speakers reflects the vast knowledge and experience of the capital region’s small business ecosystem: The events of Capital Region Small Business Week will offer a diversity of perspectives on crucial small business topics–from taxes and accessing capital, to technological innovation and international business–from representatives of government agencies, higher education, startup networks and civil society.  

In addition to educational events, Capital Region Small Business Week focuses on building connections within the region’s business landscape. With in-person mixers and matchmaking events, the week will put small business owners in contact with business development leaders to share perspectives and find opportunities for partnership.

Building networks in Sacramento

“When entrepreneurs know that they’re admired and supported, and know how to take advantage of that support, their ideas thrive. And that effect ripples through their communities,” continues Ms. Kanaan, who will lead the California Capital WBC team in hosting a May Mixer to close out the week on Friday, May 7.  Click here to view the full schedule of events. 

These events align with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week, which the SBA has designated for more than 50 years to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Turner & Turner Electric Seizes Contract Opportunities and Creates Jobs With Loan from California Capital

Turner & Turner Electric

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. After spending several years in Louisiana, where he applied his contracting skills to help rebuild from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, Ronald returned to California. He soon realized that, because of the Great Recession, 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. 

Finding new opportunities

After attending a seminar hosted by Norcal PTAC where they learned about California Capital FDC’s suite of business services, Jehnell began working with Women’s Business Center counselor, Charles Thomas. Charles helped Jehnell write an actionable business plan based off of a capability statement she had created, but it was not until several years later that the opportunity to apply for a loan through the California Capital Lending Center came up. As part of the Caltrain Modernization Early Investment Program, Caltrain’s program to electrify their transportation operations, Turner & Turner Electric secured a contract to install poles and light fixtures at the service’s electric power stations. With this sizeable job, a bid submitted for a second contract, and plans to apply for a third, an infusion of working capital would make the growth more manageable. 

Capital infusion creates jobs

 “I had never considered getting a loan,” explains Jehnell, who manages the operations and administration of Turner & Turner Electric. “But I was working with Charles and Daisy [Po’oi, Lending Center Portfolio Manager], and they both encouraged me to try, just try and see what happens.” Jehnell and Ronald decided to apply for a loan, which proved to be an enlightening process. Being loan-ready meant considering details of their business that they hadn’t before, such as the importance of keyman insurance coverage. “When small business owners come from Corporate America, like I did, there are many details [of business ownership] that they don’t think about because they’re the employee,” says Jehnell, emphasizing the key role that free information sessions offered by lenders play in making capital accessible. “A lot of times, people don’t take advantage of free services in their community to know what’s out there.” 

Turner & Turner Electric was approved for a loan, made possible through the Wells Fargo Open for Business Grant, in August of 2021–and the impact has had a ripple effect on their community. With part of the loan going towards payroll expenses, Ronald and Jehnell hired three new employees, and their support has been crucial to navigating the fast-paced construction industry.  With this support, and continued guidance from their WBC counselor, Turner & Turner Electric is performing on their contracts, and keeping more opportunities in mind.


Construction Staffing Professionals Launches with Support from Women’s Business Center, Creating Jobs and Bringing People-First Ethos to Industry

Construction Staffing Professionals

Brittany Flores completed a 16-week startup accelerator through the Women’s Business Center.

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. 

Ready to leave her corporate job, Brittany began working on the business full time in February of 2021. Having never gone through the steps to launch a business, she connected with the WBC. She enrolled in a 16-week startup generator course, taught by business consultant Natasha Palumbo, which answered all of her questions. “Every step of the class was geared towards the business and ending up with a solid business plan,” says Brittany, who worked with a cohort of entrepreneurs to learn the fundamentals of starting a business. Using the free online DreamBuilder business plan creation tool and working individually with Natasha, Brittany established the foundations of Construction Staffing Professionals. “Working with the WBC encompassed everything I needed to open the doors the very first day and feel prepared.” 

After more collaboration between the business partners, Construction Staffing Professionals officially launched in February of 2022. In under a month of operation, Brittany and Kathy have hired six employees, secured three complete contracts with construction business customers, and have begun sending employees to job sites. As they gain momentum and prepare for the busy summer season, the founders are focusing hiring and placing more workers, and ensuring that anyone hired and sent to a job site completes a 10-hour safety training through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Our goal is to get all employees OSHA-certified within 60 days of job placement,” says Brittany, adding that the certification includes a pay increase and increased marketability. This goal speaks to the service-first approach that the pair bring to their business, by prioritizing the professional development of their employees, and ensuring that their clients are provided with highly capable construction professionals. 

Looking back on the initial stages of her entrepreneurship, Brittany attributes the opportunity for partnership  as a key factor in her decision to launch a business. Having worked with Kathy for several years, she knew the business relationship would be a success. “We worked together so well before, so I knew that our strengths and personalities would complement each other as business owners,” she says. With a background in sales and a deep knowledge of the construction industry, Kathy has taken on the role of networking directly with general contractors and foremen on job sites, letting them know of CSP’s services. For her part, with years of more general corporate and administrative experience, Brittany manages recruitment of employees, accounting, and operations. “There is definitely a Yin/Yang dynamic.”  Construction Staffing Professionals stands as an example of the impact that female founders can have: By putting people and service first, Brittany and Kathy are bringing a fresh energy to the construction industry.      


California Capital FDC launches new Sacramento Valley SBDC

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. 

In January of 2021, the NorCal Small Business Development Center program sent out an open request for proposals to host SBDC service centers within its 36-county territory for the purposes of delivering no-cost one-on-one advising and free or low-cost trainings to small businesses.  

The SBDC is the largest technical assistance provider for small businesses in the U.S. and is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 centers, which are funded by grants through the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA).  In California, these are supplemented by the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).    

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. 

“Coming out of the COVID business crisis, the SBDC recognizes the need for innovative approaches to entrepreneurship,” said NorCal SBDC Associate Region Director Ann Johnson-Stromberg. “Every partner has something different to offer and we are excited about this one with California Capital.” 

The SBDC is the largest technical assistance provider for small businesses in the U.S. and is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 centers, which are funded by grants through the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA).  In California, these are supplemented by the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).   

In 2020, the NorCal SBDC provided workshops to 39,575 attendees, and no-cost, one-on-one advising to more than 26,000 small businesses through its combined 20 service centers and regional programs in the northern half of the state.  The positive economic results included assisting clients access an unprecedented $539 million in loans and investment capital last year. The program also helped clients start 316 new businesses, created 8,500 new jobs and helped increase sales by nearly $266 million. 

SiewYee Lee-Alix, an experienced business advisor and former program development manager with California Capital FDC, was hired in January to lead the newly launched center in Sacramento that will provide services to small businesses in Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. 

“SiewYee’s deep knowledge of the business development landscape complements her passion for connecting small business owners to the resources they need, and seeing them thrive,” said California Capital FDC president and CEO, Deborah Lowe Muramoto. “As an integral part of the California Capital FDC team, she used her expertise in procurement and program development to help small businesses remain open and even expand during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

SBDC Day is Wednesday, March 16, 2022. SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have on the success of our nation’s dreamers, innovator, and doers: America’s small businesses.  

For more information on Sacramento Valley SBDC or to apply for SBDC Services, visit or call (916) 655-2100. 

# # # 

About the California SBDC Program

The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is the leader in providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance needed to become successful. Local SBDCs provide comprehensive and expert guidance on issues such as start-up basics, financing, business and marketing plan development, exporting, technology advising, procurement and government contracting.  One-on-one advising is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and local partners and is offered at no cost. Consulting is supplemented by low-cost or free seminars and conferences. These services are delivered throughout California via an extensive network of 49 Small Business Development Centers. The California SBDC network serves more than 65,000 small business owners annually. Learn more by visiting: 

About SBA 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Small business is critical to economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. 


New Microbusiness Grant Program to Make a Big Impact

March 3, 2021 | 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.

The application period will be open April 1-29, 2022. More information about the Microbusiness Grant Program can be found on the website here.


California Capital Named As Recipient of First Foundation’s ‘Supporting Our Communities’ Grant Program

February 17, 2022 | 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. 

In its ninth year, First Foundation continues to build the legacy of its philanthropy programs through an expanded Supporting Our Communities initiative that includes grants for organizations that are working on the community development pillars of affordable housing, work force development, community service, economic development, and entrepreneurship.

“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.” California Capital’s mission is to provide capital and capacity to serve communities, which these services are geared towards.

“We are thrilled to continue our ‘Supporting Our Communities’ initiative this year and gain more nonprofit and community partners throughout our regions,” said Scott F. Kavanaugh. “As we grow we always want to stay close to our founding principle of remaining connected to the communities in which we live and serve, and develop meaningful relationships with these wonderful partners who are helping when it matters most.”

The goal of the program is to drive community growth and sustainability in low- and moderate-income communities through small business development, entrepreneurship, access to affordable housing, and financial literacy education.

​​This year’s list of nonprofit recipients was compiled to include thirty organizations that are focused on causes important to First Foundation. More than half of the grants were selected based on specific programmatic requirements that will fund programs and services in the community.

The 2022 Supporting Our Communities grant recipients include:

“As the philanthropic landscape continues to change, First Foundation enhanced its commitment to connecting to our community through nonprofits,” said Sylvia M. Figueroa, Director of Community Development & CRA Officer.

First Foundation provides education, consultation, and strategic planning help to its nonprofit partners as they continue to navigate the current philanthropic environment. In addition to the cash grant, First Foundation provides in-kind professional guidance related to the organizations’ daily activities, including: fundraising; donor cultivation and stewardship; gift planning design; staff and board training; campaign planning; board building; development of critical policies and protocols; organizational planning; and counsel on ensuring best practices in their own fiscal matters such as cash management, wealth planning, and investment management.

“The strategic guidance and professional services our employees provide help nonprofits further their programs that we believe will create the types of communities we all hope to live in and take pride in.” said Emily Sukman, Community Engagement Officer.

Stay tuned for additional information about expanding Supporting Our Communities to serve the newly-entered Florida market. Given the timing of the close of the merger with TGR Financial just before year end, First Foundation plans to thoroughly examine the nonprofit landscape there and build upon existing relationships First Florida Integrity Bank has with local organizations.