Global Perspective for a Local Audience

Even small local businesses depend on an understanding of the economic and political forces at play on the national and global stages, say members of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who for the third year are presenting the Business Forecast Conference.

“If you’re not thinking globally today, then you’re going to get left behind,” said Sylvester Aguilar, Senior Vice President of Bank of the West and President-Elect of the Hispanic Chamber. “You need to know, what is the real impact of those global decisions on what’s happening locally.”

But while large companies often have access to detailed economic analyses, small businesses have not typically been able to leverage the same sort of expertise, Aguilar said. The Business Forecast Conference was launched to bridge that gap.

“There are a number of companies that have the opportunity to hear from economists and to hear forecasts, but most likely, those are the larger clients of the bigger banks,” Aguilar explained. “We want to make that same commentary available to all the small businesses within our region.”

This year’s Business Forecast Conference will be held from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 17 at San Joaquin County’s Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center. Its lineup of speakers was selected to give participants a broad range of perspectives on issues that affect local business:

  • Michael Stead, Director of Capital Markets and Executive Vice President for Bank of the West
  • Jeffrey Michael, Director of the Business Forecasting Center at University of the Pacific
  • Greenlaw “Fritz” Grupe, Chairman and founder of The Grupe Company
  • Greg Aghazarian, former California Assemblyman, currently practicing law with Beattie & Aghazarian LLP
  • Don Wiley, President of St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Topics to be discussed will include the global, state and local economic recoveries, and their implications for the San Joaquin Valley region.

The conference is held early enough in the year, Aguilar said, that participants are able to adjust their business plans and strategies based on what they learn.

“The conference is designed to have some takeaways that people can use when doing their business planning,” he said. “We want to bring good, solid information to all the members of our business community. The more information that they have, the more successful they can be and the more opportunities they can create.”

The Business Forecast Conference is open to the public, and tickets are $75. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at (209) 943-6117.



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