There are a number of organizations and agencies that provide special assistance to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and small business agencies.
CALED is a statewide professional economic development
organization dedicated to advancing its members' ability to achieve excellence
in delivering economic development services to their communities and business
clients. CALED's membership consists of public and private organizations and
individuals involved in economic development: the business of creating and
retaining jobs. The majority of the members work for State, County, or City
A program of the California Community College system, these 15 centers provide export-related training, resources, referrals, and one-on-one consultations at no cost.
Small business advisor for Santa Cruz and
All business counseling is free of charge.
This site contains links to local government offices, Chambers of Commerce, minority Chambers of Commerce, and small business networks whose Web sites offer information, workshops, assistance with loan applications and grants, and networking opportunities.
The nation maintains a publicly-funded resource for jobseekers and businesses, and the California-specific site includes the list of One-Stop Career Centers (there’s one in each county). It helps identify job-ready workers with the right skills.
The mission of this U.S. Department of Commerce agency is to foster the creation, growth, and expansion of minority businesses nationwide. Assistance is provided to socially or economically disadvantaged individuals who own or would like to start a business. This site is the home page for the San Francisco (Western U.S.) region and identifies the California offices, including a Native American Business Development Center.
This federal office encourages small business exports
and assists small businesses seeking to export. It
includes online forms. There are also 15 Export
Assistance Centers in California.
These centers provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners, offering one-stop assistance through regional offices (six in California); it is available at no charge to people who cannot afford the services of a private consultant.
This site contains links to federal, state, and local agencies that provide information and tools for the small business owner, many of which are free of charge.
The USHCC focuses on bringing the issues and concerns of the nation’s Hispanic-owned businesses to the forefront of the national economic agenda. The site also identifies the local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in California.
Created in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, this is an interactive business training Web site for entrepreneurial women. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Icelandic, and Arabic. The site contains a list of the regional centers, eight of them in California, which provide long-term training, counseling, and assistance in finance, management, marketing, procurement, and the Internet.