The Fourth Annual Faith-Based Small Business Summit was recently held in the City of Ontario, sponsored by AmPac TriState CDC, the Inland Empire Womens Business Center, and the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center. The event offered a variety of speakers and seminars to provide businesses with the tools to increase sales, provided introductions to lenders and help for faith-based organizations to understand the importance of entrepreneurship and the benefits their successes bring to the organizations they support.
District Director Adalberto Quijada of the Santa Ana District Office made welcoming remarks and introduced Regional Administrator Elizabeth Echols, who provided an update on federal legislation and recent policy decisions supporting small businesses.
Gerard “Jerry” Flavin, SBA Administrator for the Office of Faith Based Programs and Neighborhood Partnerships led a faith-based roundtable for regional religious leaders. He placed an emphasis on the need for access to capital for small businesses and challenged faith-based leaders to become SBA microlender intermediaries.
The Mayor of Ontario, Paul Leon, shared the economic development philosophy of the city and the results gained from the Ontario Mills development. Paul Granillo, president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, discussed job creation and economic impacts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Several small business owners were recognized for their successes and commitment to give back to the communities in which they work by making the connection between faith and business. Medhat Gorgy of PYRAMID Laboratories, Reggie Webb of City National Bank, and Peggy Stapleton of KSGN 89.7 were recognized for their contributions.
Attendee Andre Ellis, Manager of the Claremont Branch of California Bank & Trust remarked, “California Bank & Trust has participated in the faith-based SBA lending conference since the event’s inception in 2007. The event has proven to be a valuable tool in helping bring CB&T bankers together with members of the community who are seeking resources to help them develop and grow their businesses. This year alone, a CB&T banker connected with the owner of a local franchise who was seeking financing for a number of his stores. CB&T’s seasoned bankers have had the opportunity to serve as advisors by providing assistance to business owners in various panel discussions about accessing capital. Given the state of the economy, this information is extremely valuable to the community and we are very pleased to have participated in this event.”
The Fifth Annual Faith-Based Summit is planned for October 11, 2012. For more details, contact Sylvia Gutierrez at (714) 560-7454.