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Capps, WEV Celebrate Small Business at Goodland Kitchen & Market

Owners Julia and Michael Crookston opened their business with help from Women's Economic Ventures

To show support for small business, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, attended a Women’s Economic Ventures networking event held last Thursday at WEV client business Goodland Kitchen & Market.

The event sparked the attention of more than 50 attendees, many current business owners and “foodies” as well as others interested in entrepreneurship.

Goodland Kitchen & Market owners and siblings Julia and Michael Crookston took WEV’s Business Plan Intensive course in the fall of 2011. Since opening their doors in 2011, they have created seven new jobs and have provided space for several other local food businesses to produce their products.

Goodland Kitchen & Market is a combination of a grab-and-go eatery specializing in delicious, locally sourced and affordable meals and a commercial kitchen space that can be rented by the hour to local food producers.

WEV’s goal is to boost economic recovery and support individual independence through the process of creating and supporting small businesses — a common goal between WEV and Capps.

The WEV Connects event at Goodland Kitchen gave the opportunity for those thinking about owning their own business to speak with other small-business owners and connect with the WEV community of business people, donors, volunteers and staff. Attendees also learned more about how WEV helps small businesses succeed and had the opportunity to check out the popular Goodland Kitchen & Market in Old Town Goleta.

Since 1991, WEV has helped to create or expand more than 2,000 businesses, creating or retaining more than 3,000 local jobs through training, loans and other resources to help local women — and men — start or grow a business. In fact, so far in 2012 alone, WEV has provided nearly $90,000 in new loans to local entrepreneurs and has served 130 clients (those with 10 hours or more of service) by providing them with the tools to start or grow a business.

WEV’s core small-business training programs, the 14-week Self-Employment Training and accelerated six-week Business Plan Intensive, start in September in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

To learn more about the upcoming Self-Employment Training and Business Plan Intensive courses, attend a free orientation in August. Remaining Santa Barbara orientations will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. this Thursday and from noon to 1 p.m. next Wednesday, Aug. 22. Orientation attendance is required for anyone considering course registration. Click here for more information.

— Genesis Lopez is a publicist representing Women’s Economic Ventures.

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