KEYT TV: Business Resources Fair helps small businesses and start ups with funding and advice

KEYT TV News Story: SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – For new and small business owners, a special Business Resources Fair at Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) in Santa Barbara may turn out to be just what they need to cash in on their ideas.


WEV CEO Kathy Odell said, “it’s wonderful time to see these resources in the community come together.”

Several non profits and organizations to help business owners or those with start up ideas offered expertise and in some cases, financing. It took place in at the WEV meeting space in downtown.

Odell said,  “this is a very resource rich community and our goal is here is to bring them all together so these people can figure out where to go because they may need  two or three of vendors in this room. ”

The sign ups filled a full day of sessions in both English and Spanish.

Getting this type of one on one training often helps those who are starting up a business, or who already have a business. From these meetings and shared services there could be break through moments for future success.

Andi Garcia with the Santa Barbara Foundation said they wanted to make funding sources available. “We always tell people don’t just assume that you don’t qualify.”

Small businesses have learned there are relief funds in the form of $2500. grants that are still available even after the pandemic.

Garcia said they review applicants,  “and see what we can come up with to help them.   So there is Covid relief money still  out there even though our administration says it’s over. Well it is not over,  we know it is not over, because we had inflation.”

One business owner from Ventura is planning to expand in Santa Barbara and the business information and financial advice at the resources event may expedite the move.

Kristina Johnson owns Frenchie’s Modern Nail Care in the Ventura Harbor and is looking to expand in Santa Barbara.   “We’ll see maybe by the end of the year. Obviously it is up in the air with Santa Barbara’s permitting. Hopefully we will be fully open in the next 12 months.”

There’s also a current funding opportunity for business owners in Ventura County. “It’s an eight week training program followed by an opportunity to win a $7500. grant,” said Ashley Goldstein with Women’s Economic Ventures.