BY JULIE FARREN
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.
That’s the view of Natalie Orta, who has spent 24 years helping small business owners reach their goals.
Orta is the senior area manager for the Coachella Valley Satellite Office of the Small Business Administration in Palm Desert.
Orta was the guest speaker at the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce Good Morning Beaumont breakfast on July 12.
She said there are so many different kinds of people looking to start their own business.
They may have left their job or retired or decided they want to be an entrepreneur.
Orta said they need to feel empowered to try for the American Dream so they need to first start with a rebranding campaign.
If you think of McDonald’s, you think of the golden arches — their signature brand.
Every business needs to have a network and resources available when they are starting out, Orta said.
They might have questions about making payroll, customers or just getting their questions answered.
“Every business should have a mentor,” Orta said.
Businesses need to decide which mentoring resources will work for them and there are a few, Orta said.
There is SCORE, which features volunteers who are business experts in areas such as retail.
There is is online email mentoring.
The Small Business Development Center also provides assistance, Orta said.
Businesses can visit SBA.gov to find local assistance or take classes at the SBA office in Indio.
They can learn how to start a restaurant, or a brick and mortar business.
A resource for women is the Women’s Business Center.
It was founded in 1983 when a woman wanting to start a business could not achieve that goal without a male co-signer.
And veterans have the Veterans Business Opportunity Center in Carlsbad. Veterans have an advantage for federal employment, Orta said.
Military service can translate to entrepreneurship, she said.
Orta said that potential business owners have to decide if they are loan ready and how much of a loan do they need?
Business owners need access to capital through Small Business Administration loans or private investors, Orta said.
Loans are available from $5,000 to $50,000.
Potential business owners also have to figure out how they are going to pay back the loan, too.
If you apply for a loan with a lender, they will send it out to a network of lenders and if they are interested, they will call you.
Orta said you have to be credit worthy — it is important to take care of your personal credit.
Investors are looking for a successful business, Orta said.
“They want to make money on their money,” she said.
Beaumont Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning Beaumont is held at 7:30 a.m. the second Friday of each month at Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon, 36211 Champions Dr., Beaumont.
Admission is open to the public: $20 for members, $25 for non-members.
Staff Writer Julie Farren may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .