With Its Large Territory, Los Angeles SCORE Now Uses Sub-Chapters to Help Small Businesses Succeed
Los Angeles, CA (March 30, 2017) – It’s a big county, and the volunteer mentors at SCORE Greater Los Angeles (SCORE LA) want to do a more accessible job of providing one-on-one customized mentoring and helpful, timely information to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the area.  SCORE LA is part of a nationwide nonprofit organization (320 chapters and 11,000 volunteer mentors) that is a resource partner of the SBA. SCORE nurtures small businesses to help them start and grow through free expert business mentoring, providing free business resource information and low-cost educational business workshops. SCORE LA has been doing this successfully for many years, but wants to provide even better service to LA County.  This has led to its new sub-chapter concept in 2016.
Because certain city areas may lean toward specific types of business, SCORE LA believes it needs to cater to those interests. The first step was to define five sub-chapters:

Santa Clarita North;
Valley — Woodland Hills to San Gabriel;
West Side – Westwood south to LAX, west of La Brea;
South Bay – LAX South through Long Beach west of La Brea and
Central — Downtown/South Central/East LA.

Each sub-chapter is now working to replicate the original citywide SCORE LA chapter.  This means each will recruit and train new mentors, meet with local Chambers of Commerce, business development offices, libraries and college/universities to explore synergies, and secure workshop and mentoring locations.  Sub-chapter roles include mentor education, chapter finance, tracking performance data and creating an overall strategy for marketing, among its administrative responsibilities.
Two sub-chapters already serving their local businesses better are the West Side and the South Bay. Recent highlights reflect the progress in the West Side.  Specifically, the addition of several new mentors, a library-based mentoring program in cooperation with the Santa Monica Main Library, where patrons can sign up for weekly mentoring sessions and attend our quarterly workshop Starting a Business: What you Need to Know.  Weekly workshops are now scheduled every Saturday morning at Santa Monica College.  (The workshop calendar can be found online at scorela.org under Workshop Info>Workshops.)  Sub-chapter mentor, John Marias, points out that more good things are coming soon as a result of working directly with the Business Education Department at Santa Monica College and the formation of a CEO forum for West Side business owners.
“In February, I presented the benefits of SCORE LA to the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce, including the services we provide.  The response was very positive”, said South Bay sub-chapter mentor Paul Apodaca. “We have an agreement with the Long Beach SBDC (Small Business Development Center) that will provide office space at the LB SBDC facility for SCORE mentoring services.  Also, both organizations will cross-promote each other’s workshops for small businesses. We now have a relationship with the City of Long Beach Department of Library Services and held a SCORE ‘Meet-up’ event at the Long Beach Library last month,” Apodaca added. “Future activities include establishing a SCORE LA connection with other cities’ Departments of Library Services and City Business Development Centers to increase the number of mentor services and workshops in the South Bay.” These are just a sampling of the exciting activities this sub-chapter has initiated.
It will take some time for all the SCORE Greater Los Angeles sub-chapters to get rolling completely, but tremendous progress has been made to allow SCORE LA to deliver more benefits to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the greater Los Angeles area and all LA County.
Since 1964 SCORE has been the premier national small business mentoring service in the U.S. The nonprofit association has approximately 320 chapters nationwide and more than 11,000 working and retired business expert mentors who volunteer their time, talents and expertise free to help small business and entrepreneurs succeed in stating and growing their businesses. SCORE operates as a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) providing small business, with free ongoing mentoring, free small business information and small-fee workshops that are vital to its success. To learn more about the Greater Los Angeles SCORE chapter or how to get started, please visit www.scorela.org.
David Berkus (SCORE)
(818) 430-2809