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Local bank supports USC forum for small business owners

Teresa Laraby Teresa Lara
George Perez, senior vice president, Popular Community Bank; Thomas S. Sayles, senior vice president, USC University Relations; and Vernon Aguirre, California region executive, Popular Community Bank (USC Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)
George Perez, senior vice president, Popular Community Bank; Thomas S. Sayles, senior vice president, USC University Relations; and Vernon Aguirre, California region executive, Popular Community Bank (USC Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)

The Popular Community Bank Foundation has donated $100,000 to develop and implement the USC Popular Community Bank Small Business Leadership Forum to benefit a broad range of small businesses grossing under $1.5 million annually.

Beginning in early 2014, cohorts of small business owners will attend eight courses at USC, based on a needs-assessment survey taken earlier this year to learn what local business owners need, with the curriculum designed accordingly.

The leadership forum, at no cost to business owners, will focus on strategic business planning, marketing and compliance taught by USC faculty and graduate students from the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Gould School of Law, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Also participating are the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Southern California Minority Development Council, U.S. Small Business Administration and Popular Community Bank employees.

“This effort is to help business owners stay ahead of the game and abreast with all of the technology and resources to help identify efficiencies and increase margins,” said Vernon Aguirre, Popular Community Bank California region executive, a member of the USC Latino Alumni Executive Advisory Committee.

“This generous gift and partnership with Popular Community Bank aligns with our Family of Businesses mission to support local businesses, create more jobs and strengthen the region’s economy,” said Thomas S. Sayles, senior vice president for USC University Relations.

“We already work with a lot of local businesses through programs like USC’s Bridges to Business,” he added. “Our goal is to make the Family of Businesses program as strong as our Family of Schools.”

For more information, contact Theda Douglas, associate vice president for USC Government Partnerships and Programs, at (213) 821-6536.

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