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When COVID-19 hit, the business world was turned on its head in a matter of days. Startups
and small business owners lost once-predictable sources of revenue when stay-at-home orders
Dr. Cathleen Greiner, Business Entrepreneurship Regional Director in Orange County,
immediately saw an opportunity to use the sector’s experience to help businesses through this
difficult time — and the #OCOPEN4BIZ campaign was born.
The project will culminate in a virtual employer meetup and expo on June 16 from 2-6 p.m. The
event will focus on showcasing and celebrating businesses and individuals who have found
success amid COVID-19. The event will emphasize workforce readiness skills, feature a job
board and forum for OC CC students to virtually connect with business owners seeking job
applicants, and take on learning layering, whereby classroom and work experience are blended.
Open for Business OC is central and the event is open to everyone and free to attend. Learn
more and register at https://oc4.biz/
In addition, experts from across industry and education will share resources and opportunities
that startups and small businesses can utilize as the recovery process begins.
The expo will be broken into three tracks: retail, healthcare, and technology, with concurrent
sessions running in Zoom, along with keynotes for all attendees.
“The goal is to focus on health, technology, and retail for small businesses and startups, all of
which have had to rapidly change their approach to the market if they want to survive through
this period of uncertainty,” Greiner said.
#OCOPEN4BIZ launched in just a few short weeks, which demonstrates the power of
entrepreneurial thinking and making connections across sectors and industries. Based on the
interest so far, the network is poised to continue long after the economy reopens.
“This is a ‘start-up’ in and of itself,” Greiner said. “There is interest in linking up the ecosystem
and community to work together to stand up a new iteration of significant business heft and
vibrancy in the region: start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial valuation.”
In addition to the virtual expo, #OCOPEN4BIZ offers resources for startups and small business
owners, including free courses, job postings, and virtual networking events. New resources are
being added daily from education and industry partners across California.
The virtual expo is sponsored by California Community Colleges, Vital Link, ZimDeck, Hassan
Archer, and LearningFuze.
Again, for more information about the expo and #OCOPEN4BIZ, visit https://oc4.biz.