COC hosts chamber businesses summit

College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne Van Hook speaks at the SCV Chamber of Commerce's 2020 Business summit Friday morning. March 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Local business owners were able to connect with and learn about available resources during the 2020 Business Summit at College of the Canyons Friday.

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce held the annual business summit at the University Center at COC, featuring multiple workshops and networking opportunities for local business leaders.

“It’s a part of our commitment to local companies here to provide them with educational resources and also bring awareness to other issues and challenges they may face such as legislation, taxes, how to hire good people and how to develop an organization,” said Jeffrey Forrest, vice president of economic development at COC.

After a networking breakfast and a welcome address from COC Chancellor Dianna Van Hook, four workshops were presented during the summit, which were facilitated by people associated with local businesses.

“Today’s summit was informative, engaging and inspiring.  It gave local businesses an opportunity to come together, learn, brainstorm and plan for the future,” Van Hook said in a prepared statement. “For College of the Canyons, it gave us the chance to hear from business leaders what their priorities are and how we can help them achieve their goals.  Our partners tell us what they need and expect us to deliver. And as we have done for over 30 years since the launch of our VISION 2000 initiative, we have continued to rely on the partnerships and support of the SCV business community. We look forward to taking the input gathered today and moving forward in a spirit of innovation, collaboration and engagement to create new opportunities and new possibilities that will benefit local companies, our workforce, our students and our community.”

Speakers at the summit were John Musella from the SCV Chamber, Andrea De La Cerda from Scorpion, Paul Raggio from One True North and Michelle Lambarena from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Topics of the workshops included best business marketing strategies, how to make a business grow, and key legislation that can impact a business.

“This event lets local business owners know that they’re not alone, that there is a partner in COC,” Forrest said. “We’re here to give them the necessary support and to equip their people. It’s all about collaboration, partnership and gratitude.”

After a lunch was served, local business owners were able to speak one-on-one with the presenters to ask additional questions. Having a time set aside for discussion allowed local business owners to let the local businesses and COC officials know what they may need to strengthen their business.

“We’re going to listen to the businesses and ask them, ‘What is it that you need from COC to help you grow?’” said Forrest. “We want to know what we can do in terms of resources and in terms of support to make sure their business is not only here today, but here tomorrow and for many years to come.”

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