Lozano congratulates Spirit of Small Business Award winners

spirit-sample-graphic_cropThe 2014 Spirit of Small Business Award winners for the Los Angeles District Office were announced today. The event is co-sponsored by the SBA.

Along with the team at BusinessUS, I would like to congratulate the winners for their success and their positive impacts on their communities. This year’s winners are:

East Ventura County – Agnew Multilingual

West Ventura County – Staples Construction Co.

South Santa Barbara County – The French Press

North Santa Barbara County – Old Town Market

San Luis Obispo County – The Wallace Group

Minority-Owned Business – Alliance Wealth Strategies

Women-Owned Business – Ohana Pet Hospital

Exporter of the Year – Zesto Audio

Green Business – AB Design Studio

Well done!

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

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American Dream: Former Denny’s Waitress now owns 75 locations

dennys-dawn-lafreedaLike many young people, Dawn Lafreeda started her working life at age 16. Her first job was as a hostess at a local Denny’s restaurant.

But this determined woman’s life quickly took a turn that would be instrumental in defining her success: “During college, she took on a second job at a software company, where she learned about accounting and managing personnel.” At 23, she was able to leverage her skills and burning desire to succeed to acquire a Denny’s store in Globe, Arizona. (It’s 87 miles east of Phoenix, in case you’d like to look it up).

18 months later, she was offered 4 more stores in Texas. Now, “Lafreeda has increased her empire to 75 Denny’s locations in six states, becoming the largest single-owner franchisee in the system.”

Read more

jamalmashburn_D_20130911152954Here’s another great franchise-building story, about NBA star Jamal Mashburn.

 

~ This story is posted by Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS.

May is California Small Business Month, but…

Cal vs. TXPROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

California is home to the most innovative and competitive firms in the world, placing us consistently among the top ten economies. The vast majority of these businesses employ 500 or fewer workers.

Small businesses embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has driven the economy of our Golden State. Over half of our private-sector workforce is employed by small business.

This month, we reaffirm our commitment to helping California’s small businesses thrive and prosper. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, along with key agencies of state government, works to facilitate economic growth through collaboration with small businesses. Supporting small-scale private-sector job creators is among our most promising strategies to enhance California’s human capital, expand job opportunities and increase our competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 2012, as “Small Business Month.”

Well OK Governor Brown, but WHAT ABOUT THIS?

Inc.: In California’s Kevin McCarthy, A Small Business Advocate Rises to GOP’s Top

Kevin-McCarthy_37943With the election of Kevin McCarthy, BusinessUS and other California small businesses find ourselves in an interesting political position: both the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader of the House, and the SBA Administrator, are from our home state.

Read more about Kevin McCarthy and small business here

“In McCarthy, Republicans have found a moderate voice with strong business ties, and the ability to understand the concerns of smaller businesses. They have also found someone who may be able to unify the fractious voices that have prevented the Republican caucus from taking meaningful action on legislation like immigration reform.”

Nancy Pelosi: “After raising $1.8 million for Democrats through her leadership PAC in 2002, Pelosi got the top job when Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. She was the first woman to ever lead a party in Congress. In 2006, she teamed up with Schumer, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel and hatched a plan to take back Congress. …and it totally worked! Democrats won the majority in both chambers, and Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House. In the first 100 hours of being Speaker in 2006, Pelosi raised the minimum wage, enacted the 9/11 commission report, ended many tax subsidies to oil companies, and made new rules about lobbying.”

Read more about Pelosi’s successes here 

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet has a wide range of experience having been a business owner, founder of a Latino-owned community bank and a former California cabinet secretary. She’s also been an advocate for Hispanics.

“She knows business and she knows the economics and the business of raising capital, and the importance of building a solid small business community,” says Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, president of Los Angeles-based Berkhemer-Clayton, an executive search firm. She has known Contreras-Sweet for about 25 years and worked with her at nonprofit groups including the March of Dimes.

Contreras-Sweet, 58, first became a business owner in 1980, as a partner in the 7UP/RC Bottling of Southern California. She also served on the board of directors of the health insurer Blue Cross of California. In 1999, she became secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and was the first Hispanic woman in the state Cabinet. She held that post until 2003.

Here’s a good summary of the SBA Administrator’s California career

~ Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS