New program to create premium wage jobs and reward business resilience in underserved communities.
Founders First CDC (Founders First), a 501(c)3 non-profit that specializes in helping to grow diverse-led small businesses, launches today a new $100,000 grant to support minority entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire. The grant will be awarded to 30 small businesses as grant packages ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Each grantee will also receive a full tuition scholarship to one of Founders First’s business accelerator programs. The grant program will be known as the Job Creators Quest Grant.
The Job Creators Quest Grant will help diverse small businesses continue to create premium wage jobs and act as a recognition of the existing investments these organizations have already made themselves to retain and grow their workforce during the pandemic. Funding for this grant program was facilitated in part by a $1 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, in conjunction with Founders First Capital Partners’ recent $9 million Series A financing. Additional partners include ADP, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Union Bank, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Majority, and Inland Empire Black Chamber of Commerce.
“The labor market recovery continues to exhibit progress, and small businesses are playing a vital role in adding jobs in the service-providing sector,” says CT Mobley, Division Vice President, ADP. “ADP is proud to support initiatives like the Job Creators Quest Grant that help diverse businesses add premium wage jobs, invest in expansion and contribute to the economic growth of communities throughout Southern California.”
Grant recipients will be diverse-led businesses that generate $100,000 to $3 million in annual revenue and have up to 20 employees. The grants will encourage small businesses to grow their employee-base by creating new premium wage job positions. Diverse founders may be Black, Indigenous, a Person of Color, LGBTQIA+, Military Veteran, Female, or located in a low to moderate-income area.
“Founders First CDC continues to take a proactive approach in helping small businesses. More than ever, the small business community needs our help. The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be a partner in this initiative,” says Edward Ornelas, Jr., President & CEO of The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“A significant part of our mission is social and economic equity and we see a connection with full time premium wage jobs and increasing equality. Social Economic Equity is important and a connection to move the needle is to create full time roles that provide livable wages.” said Shaylon Scott, Executive Director of Founders First CDC.
Funding for Founders First’s business accelerator programs is being supported in part by a $1.3 million philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase. The commitment will fund Founders First to operate three business acceleration programs for entrepreneurs of color across four regions: Southern California, Dallas, Chicagoland and New Jersey.
“Structural barriers have created long standing inequities for underserved entrepreneurs across the country. The pandemic has only further exposed the challenges they’ve faced for generations,” said Sarah Bowles, Vice President and Program Officer, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We’re proud to partner with Founders First. We share many of the same goals to help diverse-led small businesses grow and expand their opportunities.”
Applications close November 30, 2021. To apply for the grant, visit: https://foundersfirstcdc.org/socal/
Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai
Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners
Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.
Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.
Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”
This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.
“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.
IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.
For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.
Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference
Coming October 5th
Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?
The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.
Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”
Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.
The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”
“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”
Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.
Full event details are available at: economy.iechamber.org
Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools
Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry.
Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.
The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”
Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community.
Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve.
For more information on Webb Investments, please visit webbinvestments.com.
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