EDC-VC Business Line: President’s Message

July 3, 2017
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President’s Message  
Bruce Stenslie
It’s good news that increasingly we’re seeing national media and politicos as well as corporate leaders championing the value and return on investment for early child education.
Consider, for example, that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is an outspoken advocate, noting that child development and education strengthen communities and the economy (see link below).
Other advocates include the Upjohn Institute, and, for taking the message to a broader national audience, National Public Radio (see links below).
Proudly, the EDC-VC was an early adopter of this cause, through a very productive partnership with First 5 of Ventura County, which capitalized our loan fund dedicated to early child education–funding for the creation of preschools.
Since launching this fund several years ago, including two centers currently under development, we’ve approved child care facility loans totaling $1,665,000, creating 318 new child care slots, 107 of which are for infant/toddler care, and created 52 new jobs. All of this is an incredibly cost-effective investment, delivering one new slot for each $4,571 loaned, with $1,196,868 in First 5 funds and leveraging $468,132 in other loan capital.
These are enormously important contributions to the region, particularly considering we have an acute shortage of licensed child care facilities, and the greatest barrier to establishing new centers is access to capital to develop new properties.
More to the point, our investment for quality child care and early child education is inspired and informed by on-going research at the Federal Reserve and across several academic and policy institutes that demonstrate its return on investment.
For more research and detail on that ROI, and how it manifests in outcomes in education, health, reduced social costs and earnings, see the work of Nobel Prize winner in economics, James Heckman, at

We’re thrilled at EDC-VC to be a partner with First 5 Ventura County in acting on this research, investing in the long-term economic well-being of Ventura County, our families, our kids and future leaders. Thanks of course to First 5, to Marvin Boateng for moving the loans, to our Loan Board and consultants who help shape the deals to make it all happen.

EDC-VC’s SBDC Receives International Excellence Award
Innovation AwardEDC-VC’s Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties was recently awarded the Small Business Development Center International Excellence Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Los Angeles District Office and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. The district-wide award honors one of the 12 local SBDCs for implementing innovative programs and actively developing counseling staff to advance opportunities for area businesses interested in international trade development.

EDC-VC’s SBDC Establishes Presence in Shanghai, China
SBDC Advisor Jay Tsao will work with Shanghai office

The EDC-VC’s Small Business Development Center has established a presence in Shanghai, China to connect with Chinese businesses interested in conducting commerce in the U.S. EDC-VC’s SBDC advisors will provide guidance to Chinese businesspeople to help them navigate U.S. regulations and laws. The goal of the Shanghai office is to increase foreign direct investment in the Ventura County region, creating new jobs and wealth for California.

The EDC-VC Shanghai office is provided through a collaborative effort with California Go-BIZ and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute of San Francisco, which already share a joint office in Shanghai; the SBDC will be able to utilize that office to meet with clients by appointment. The presence in Shanghai will also support businesses in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, for which Shanghai is a major trading partner.

Meet SBDC’s Newest Advisors 
Tony Alcock
Bruce Hazuka
Erica Bristol
Raja Subramoni
The Economic Development Collaborative
-Ventura County has added four new consultants to their team of 30-plus advisors providing free one-on-one consulting to local businesses to help area companies strengthen and grow their bottom line. The new advisors include Bruce Hazuka, business management;Erica Bristol, legal/compliance and intellectual property; Raja Subramoni, marketing; and Tony Alcock, entrepreneurship.
The advisor services are provided through EDC-VC’s  Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (SBDC).
“With their business acumen and expertise in their individual fields, Bruce, Erica, Raja and Tony bring an even greater depth to our capacity for helping area businesses,” said Ray Bowman, director of the SBDC of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

MJ Painters is an SBDC Success Story
Justin Engelbach

After 10 years as a project engineer and project manager on large-scale construction projects, Justin Engelbach decided to pursue his dream of owning and operating his own business. Together with his wife, Michele, MJ Painters/Fresh Coat Painterswas launched as a family-owned commercial and residential painting company.

With quality and customer service as the driving forces behind the business, MJ Painters/Fresh Coat Painters quickly established themselves as one of the premier painting contractors in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and surrounding areas. The business started growing right from the start and Engelbach soon needed additional equipment to meet the demand. However, being first-time business owners, Engelbach found it difficult to get financing.

SBDC Director Ray Bowman Receives Leadership Award
Ray Bowman, director of the Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, was recently awarded the District Export Council, Southern California Leadership award. Congratulations to Ray (pictured to the right), who was one of four recipients. Ray was also honored in 2015.

Getting to Know EDC-VC’s SBDC Santa Barbara County Director Julie Samson
Julie Samson
Julie Samson, M.A., is the director ofSanta Barbara County’s Small Business Development Center and the Scheinfeld Center forEntrepreneurship and Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. She also serves as deputy sector navigator for global trade and logistics in our region.
Julie oversees partnership development and outreach, capacity building for the region’s small business service offerings, and is responsible for effective program outcomes in regional business growth, entrepreneurship, and overall economic impact. With over 20 years’ experience as a small business owner, she specializes in simple, lean, efficient startup and operations for micro-enterprises. She also helps service providers develop proprietary offerings for a competitive edge.

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