Symposium Supports Small Businesses

Jim Foley, Wells Fargo Bank’s Greater Bay President.

Small business owners often feel all alone – with no one to keep them from making a critical mistake or from missing a golden opportunity. However, East Bay entrepreneurs who attend the fourth and final 2012 Small Business Symposium at the Crowne Plaza in Union City on Nov. 8 will have an opportunity to connect with 40 resources – from free non-profit and government services to the expert advice of business professionals. “What we know is that more than half of all East Bay small businesses need some kind of advice or specialized service just to survive. We want to help them thrive and grow,” said Jim Foley, Wells Fargo Bank’s Greater Bay President and leader of the effort. The free symposium will connect business owners at various stages of maturity (startup, young, growth and mature) with experts in starting, growing and sustaining small businesses and specific, relevant resources, including financing, business planning, marketing, human resources and legal support, via one of four concurrent, 90-minute breakout panels that answer questions from the audience. With the goal of enhancing the entrepreneurial opportunities within the region, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) and its partners launched the East Bay Small Business Initiative in May with a Symposium in Antioch that drew 107 attendees. That was followed by a symposium in Berkeley with over 350 attendees and another in Danville. The initiative is organized by East Bay EDA, Inner City Advisors (ICA) and Wells Fargo Bank, with the support of the Alameda and Contra Costa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Alameda County Workforce Investment Board and the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The symposium is endorsed by Alameda County Supervisors in the two southern districts.  “I’m so pleased that this effort is providing an opportunity this year for Southern Alameda County businesses to attend and I strongly encourage area business owners and chambers of commerce to participate” said Supervisor Richard Valle. To register and for information, go to www.ebsmallbusiness.com.
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