Happy Spring from the Solano Small Business Development Center!

April is going to be a great month for our team as we have two very special events happening on the topics of Access to Capital and Retail.

On  April 19th we will be in Vacaville to join forces with our friends at Travis Credit Union and bring a fantastic Access to Capital panel event  Where's The Money?, featuring top notch financing experts who will share an insiders perspective on how to improve your odds at getting that loan or investment to start or grow your enterprise. These tips will shed some light on what it takes to get capital and help you decide if you are ready for it.

The morning event will also feature a resource fair and networking with numerous area partners such as area chambers of commerce and economic development organizations that are also important connections for new and existing businesses. 

At the end of the month we will kick off  National Small Business Business Week with  Retail Revival: Competing with Big Boxes taught by guest speaker Marc Willson!  Marc has visited more than 2,000 communities in 27 states bringing his expertise from the Virgina SBDC Small Town Business and Merchant Program (STAMP) helping independent retailers learn how to out maneuver the competition.  

This early morning workshop will be held on  Monday, April 30th from 8-10 a.m. For both of these special events, advanced registration is required and seating is limited.

We hope to see you there!

Ann Johnson-Stromberg
Director, Solano SBDC



Where's the Money?
Accessing Capital for Small Business in Solano wheresthemoney

Thursday, April 19, 2018
9:00 am to Noon
Travis Credit Union Community Room
One Travis Way
Vacaville, CA 95687

Access to Capital program for Solano area entrepreneurs and small business owners. This program will bring together community lenders, small businesses and small business services who are interested in helping Solano County businesses start and grow. Program will feature an expert panel presentation, lots of opportunities for Q & A and linking up with available resources for entrepreneurs. Event will have carved out time to visit with area resource partners and network with other small businesses, as well as an opportunity to connect with a Solano Small Business Development Center representative.
Norcal SBDC Associate Director  Scott Regalski - former commercial lender and director of our regional Small Business Finance Center will moderate the discussion.

John Shelby - Vice President, Business Banking Manager for Travis Credit Union
Mike McGrane - Vice President, Statewide Lending Director, Veteran Launch
Anne "Annie" Mask - Business Development Officer, JD Factors
Tim Stanley - Vice President - Community Lending Programs for California Statewide CDC
Byron Phillips - Nor-cal Financial Development Corporation
Paul Bozzo - Principal, The 10X Group and Regional Business Advisor for the Norcal SBDC and Solano SBDC 

Retail Revival:
Competing with Big Boxes - How Independent Retailers Win and Keep CustomersRetailRevival

April 30, 2018
8:00 am to 10:00 am
Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce
1111 Webster St.
Fairfield, CA 94533

Competing in the age of Amazon and being creative in a dynamic retail landscape is not an easy task when you are digging out of a sales slump or struggling with minimum wage increases and workforce shortages.  Can we do a better job giving the big boxes a run for their money?

Solano SBDC is very excited to kick off National Small Business Week with visiting guest retail expert Marc Willson to better explain how we can do just that!  Marc has visited more than 2,000 communities bringing his expertise from the Virginia SBDC Small Town Business and Merchant Program helping independent retailers can out maneuver the competition.

Training topics include:
  • Social platform maneuvering
  • Building on community involvement
  • Connecting with your customer
  • Creating a destination location
  • Digital marketing campaigns
  • The value of your website
Marc Willson is the Retail Consultant working for the Virginia Small Business Development Center (VSBDC) Network and brings 35 years of retail experience to bear in helping retail, restaurant, and tourism-related small businesses refine and promote their concepts to the public. Aside from his work with the VSBDC, Marc is a favorite recurring speaker at the America's SBDC national professional development conference and has traveled throughout the country sharing his own insights as a retailer and the some of the tricks he has learned along the way in his travels to more than 2,000 retail communities in the past seven years.

Marc is an operation's expert and has advised countless retailers in best practices, financials and cash flow, marketing and customer service, customer loyalty, merchandising, window dressing, buying, social media and just plain old how to treat customers.
Restaurant Series:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce
1111 Webster St.
Fairfield, CA 94533

This workshop takes new and budding restaurateurs through the basics of opening a new restaurant. Topics include business plan development, sources and uses of funds, financial modeling, jurisdictional compliance, location and lease feasibility, pre-opening marketing strategies, HR fundamentals, POS and bookkeeping, vendor relationships and cash-flow management.
Louise Dawson is an SBDC Certified Business Advisor and Hospitality Specialist who brings to her clients over 30 years of industry experience: owning and operating bars, restaurants and retail consulting, advising, teaching, and training, Louise brings real-life experience to start-ups, with pre-opening education and organization and, to existing businesses, operational strategy and ongoing systems and training.
Successful Startups in Solano startups

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce
1111 Webster St.
Fairfield, CA 94533

First Steps: Learn the pros and cons of starting your own business and how to position yourself as a successful entrepreneur. We will share invaluable resources to take a new business through the nuts and bolts of starting your business including licenses and permits.

Business Planning: The second session will provide an overview of the business planning process and share a multitude of key information sources for developing your business plan.

You will also learn how to take advantage of the Small Business Development Center's free training and advising services for your new business, and more! 
Instructor Sandy Markus has been in entrepreneurial environments her whole professional career in corporate divisions, venture capital funded start-ups, and launched her own small business. She has been a lead SBDC Advisor and Trainer for startup businesses for six years.

Sandy brings a unique understanding and experience in and with start-ups, marketing and business development in the service, retail, wholesale, software-as-a-service, education, and nonprofit sectors.

Solano SBDC


Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance of our workshops. Contact the Solano SBDC at 707.646.1071 or email intakes@solanosbdc.org