Grant one of 10 awarded nationally

CSU Monterey Bay's Small Business Development Center has received a grant to help the city of Salinas attract and create new jobs in the wake of the closure of Capital One, a large employer in the city.

Confidential assistance, training, information and networking opportunities will be provided to new and existing businesses, helping them access resources such as wage subsidies and training grants that will facilitate the growth of jobs and skill improvement.

“This grant will allow us to work directly with more nascent and existing companies to create new jobs in the region,” said Andrea Nield, associate director of the SBDC. “We are off and running, already working with local stakeholders and the Workforce Investment Board’s Rapid Response Team to create jobs and facilitate hiring of those being laid off at Capital One.”

The Rapid Response Team includes representatives from the California Employment Development Department, Shoreline Workforce Development Services, the Monterey County One Stop Career Center, the Workforce Investment Board and the Small Business Development Center.

How can the CSUMB SBDC help? By assisting local employers with adding new employees. According to a recent study, SBDC clients experienced six times the sales growth, and created 13 times the jobs of average businesses (see www.californiasbdc.org).

Also, 65 percent of the center’s clients are in the Salinas area. Plans are to move to 106 Lincoln St., where the city will provide a lease at $1 a year for three years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Portable Assistance Grant, one of 10 awarded nationally, is intended to provide assistance to small businesses in communities suffering from a major disaster or economic hardship brought about by corporate downsizing. The UC Merced Small Business Development Center Regional Network (UCM-SBDC) will provide support and fiscal oversight to the project while the CSUMB SBDC will implement the program in the Salinas Valley.

As part of the grant, a special projects business adviser will be hired. The selected candidate will implement a comprehensive SBDC action strategy to catalize job growth in the small business community. Consultants are currently available to provide one-on-one consulting on-site at the individual businesses or at one of several outreach sites. All services are completely confidential with business consulting provided free of charge.

“We are pleased to announce SBA funds will be used by CSU Monterey Bay SBDC to help increase the jobs available to the Capital One employees facing layoff,” said Diane Howerton, regional director of UC Merced’s SBDC.

The CSUMB SBDC is a nationally accredited program, largely funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration that operates within the UC Merced Regional SBDC network serving Central California.

As one of four CSU hosts in Central California, the CSUMB-SBDC’s importance to the network is demonstrated by its excellent results in this region. Under the leadership of Andrea Nield, associate director, the CSUMB-SBDC has generated more than $3.8 million in capital infusion, which assisted 27 businesses to open that created and/or retained 134 jobs.

“With Ms. Nield’s track record, the use of the Portability Grant funds will be beneficial to the Salinas area impacted by the closing of the Capital One facility,” Howerton said.