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“... education is the engine of economic growth today…”—Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Our 17th Annual Meeting, fast approaching on Jan. 16, will give a nod to the growing body of economic research that shows there are huge long-term economic development benefits to communities where children attend preschool. Our program, "Preschool to Professional" will feature a keynote address by Paul Orfalea, Kinko’s founder and co-founder of the Orfalea Foundation, who was an early adaptor of workplace childcare and preschool.
Rabobank, N.A. recently invested $1 million in the EDC-VC to support regional economic development and help businesses in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. EDC-VC will manage the funds through its Revolving Loan Fund program, which has grown to $4 million with the five-year agreement.
Rebekah Evans, executive director of the Ventura County Lodging Association (VCLA), has joined EDC-VC’s board of directors as a board liaison. In this position, Evans will help facilitate communication between EDC-VC and lodging firms within Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura, and help promote filming in Ventura County.
Starting a business can be daunting for solo business owners and microenterprises. To help them through the process, Small Business Development Center advisor Julie Samson developed LightBox Accelerator. This new online system simplifies the startup process and optimizes time- and cost-efficiency.
What makes LightBox Accelerator different is that it’s action-based and delivered entirely online. After designing their business model, clients actually develop customers and make sales to validate their business idea even before they formally launch their business.
Michelle Senna, owner of Master's Donuts, relocated her store within a shopping center in Oxnard to make room for several corporate stores that were moving in. With the help of the EDC-VC and the city of Oxnard, Senna overcame the change and is drawing more traffic into her store and competing with the national brands next door.
The city of Oxnard and Senna's landlord worked together to update the strip mall where Master's Donuts is located, turning it into a contemporary shopping center with higher foot traffic. Initially, Senna was concerned about the center's renovation and her store's relocation because Lowe's and several national food chains were opening there.
Julie Samson, M.A., is a business strategist, trainer and founder of The Brilliant Edge, which helps entrepreneurs package their expertise in multimedia educational products for profit.
With more than 18 years' experience as a small-business owner, she specializes in helping solo business owners with simple, lean, efficient startup and operations, and improve client attraction and sales - both online and offline.