The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Small business gets a boost at workshop


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Director Kelly Bearden introduced expert consultants who offered advice for prospective business owners.

A workshop held by CSUB Small Business Development Center was aimed at helping prospective business owners, as well as those businesses who are already functioning.

The workshop was held in conjunction with the Shafter Chamber of Commerce, who partnered with the Cal State University of Bakersfield SBDC for the event.

The evening event was held on Thursday, March 29, at the Shafter Veterans Hall.

Kelly Bearden, director of the Small Business Development Center, said that the workshops were designed to help people who are interested in starting their own business, assisting them in how to market their product or services, as well as how to get financing for their ventures.

The SBDC has several consultants on their staff, each of them with years of experience in business development and marketing.

Judy Goad of the Shafter Chamber of Commerce welcomed the attendees and told them the benefits of being a member of the chamber, including advertising and social media posts, as well as consulting services for the business.

Bearden introduced Maureen Buscher-Dang, who is a consultant for the SBDC in its marketing department. Buscher-Dang explained to the attendees how important it was to decide who their target audience is and how to reach them.

"After determining who your target is, you must decide the best avenue to reach them. For instance, if your customer base is older, print and advertising media would be best, and if you are going to be targeting a younger demographic, then social media might be the best way to reach them."

A lot of prospective business owners have questions about how to begin the process, such as how to fund the business, she said.

Jamie Stewart | the Shafter Press

The Shafter Chamber of Commerce's Judy Goad tells attendees the benefits of being a member of the chamber.

The CSUB SBDC had several suggestions on how businesses can get funding, including what loan institutions look for in prospective borrower. Bearden said that their organization works closely with financial partners who provide a variety of loan programs as well as other regional and community funding sources. The SBDC also has financial professionals who can assist you with applying for funds.

Richard Duran, a prospective business owner who is thinking of venturing out on his own, said that he received a lot of good information from the workshop. "It is kind of scary deciding to open up a business and it is really great having someone who can help you go through the process," Duran said.

According to Elizabeth Hamlin of the CSUB SBDC, the organization is planning to put on seven or eight workshops this year in rural areas of Kern County to assist people who might need advice, direction and resources to get their businesses off the ground.


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