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Statewide small business stimulus program heads to L.A.

 On Sept. 2 Los Angeles will be the fourth stop in a 15-city, California tour aimed at increasing small business readiness to access stimulus-funded contracts through President Obama�s Economic Recovery Plan.

The program, Stimulus Opportunities for Small Business, is free for participants and will be presented by California Small Business Development Centers and Los Angeles-based nonprofit Business Matchmaking, in cooperation with the Small Business Advocate in the governor�s office.

�We are keenly aware that the current economy dictates that it is not business as usual for small businesses,� said Michelle King, director of the SBDC hosted by Santa Monica College. �For many local businesses, being informed about opportunities and resources available through stimulus programs increases their probability of striving and thriving throuStimulus Opportunities for Small Business program kick off in Oakland on June 26, 2009gh the economic downturn.�

King added that one of the most exciting parts of the program is that participants will get firsthand insight from state and federal government buyers, and corporate representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration, Caltrans, American Airlines, Warner Bros., American Express OPEN and Hewlett-Packard. Aside from capitalizing on stimulus opportunities, these events will connect small businesses with free consulting aimed at helping entrepreneurs survive or thrive in the current economy.

Marty Keller, director for the Office of Small Business Advocate, said that the California SBDC and Business Matchmaking partnership for these stimulus events is important because it provides essential tools and information that can ease small businesses through the procurement process. �There will be incredible opportunities for both large and small businesses to work with state agencies on an exciting variety of projects as a result of the stimulus support California is receiving,� Keller said.

The Stimulus Opportunities for Small Business event will also include updates for small businesses on new Small Business Administration (SBA) bank loan guarantees, and Workforce Development roles under the economic stimulus plan. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Loyola Marymount University – St. Roberts Auditorium at 1 LMU Dr., in Los Angeles. Admission to the event is free, but space is limited and registration is required. To sign up, go to http://californiasbdc.org/stimulus or call the Santa Monica College SBDC at (310) 434-3566 for more information.

The Santa Monica SBDC will host this event.

Stimulus Opportunities for Small Business has been made possible by underwriting from sponsors HP, American Express OPEN and American Airlines. Business Matchmaking specializes in small business procurement with a track record of facilitating more than 70,000 face to face buyer-seller meetings throughout the country. California Small Business Development Centers provide free business consulting and low-cost training for thousands of California small businesses annually. Go to www.businessmatchmaking.com or www.californiasbdc.org for more information.

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