Board of Equalization Chairman, Jerome E. Horton (Courtesy Photo)
Board of Equalization Chairman, Jerome E. Horton recently held the second of two small business seminars a month. Horton wants to double the number of seminars he hosted in2013 he said, hoping to help small business growth continue to explode in Southern California.
“The Board helped 192,000 businesses get started last year,” Horton told a crowed auditorium at L.A. Harbor College in Wilmington. “I want that number to double this year. If you have ten people working for you today, I want it to be a hundred next year. For the sake of California, we need you to prosper!”
Horton, came armed with encouragement for those in attendance.
“Get connected,” he repeatedly advised. “Get to know the elected officials and the state agencies that can help you. Get to know the person sitting next to you. Their customers can be your customers.” The chairman then ran down a list of state and federal financial help that not many in the audience knew existed.
"You see,” He said. “You’ve got to get connected. That’s why we are here, so you can learn!”
The strongest encouragement came from a host of experts, including a representative from the Valley Economic Development Center, who said one of the strongest things in business to overcome is fear, and not taking the necessary risks that propel business forward.
“If you are given a lemon, what do you do?” Horton asked. “Make lemonade,” the crowd answered. “No,” he shouted. “You plant an orchard and make as much lemonade as you want.”
There was also plenty of advice on how to stay tax-compliant, what to do when faced with an audit, where to find working capital and a new addition to the schedule and how small businesses in particular can take advantage of President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act.
Natalie Orta, with the Small Business Administration, informed the crowd, “In the past a small business owner had no ability to approach an insurer. Now they are part of this huge pool of all California small business owners, which means better buying and purchasing powers. If you can’t offer your employee health insurance, what do you think is going to happen?”