Chamber’s Annual Conference to help Businesses Better Prepare for Future

Business Forecast ConferenceBy Rhashad R. Pittman

Economic experts will give local business owners a glimpse of what to expect from the economy over the next 12 months during the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual Business Forecast Conference. The event is designed to help local businesses better prepare for the economy in 2014.

The one-day conference will include data on global economic trends and projections and the implications for the local economy, vital information for area business owners as they look to stay afloat in a fragile economic recovery. The conference will feature keynote speakers Michael Steeds, a nationally renowned economist, and Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecast Center at University of the Pacific.

The event will be held Thursday, January 16 at the San Joaquin County Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center, at 2101 E. Earhart Ave. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. (registration and breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m.). Cost is $75 per person.

“This conference has developed into one of the most anticipated economic forecasting events in the Central Valley and every year we strive to provide our attendees with the most current and relevant data to our area,” said Chamber President-Elect Sylvester Aguilar of Bank of the West. “By providing a comprehensive economic analysis, business owners can better prepare their planning strategies for the coming year.”

Aguilar, who is chair of the chamber’s planning committee, added “This kind of information also allows businesses to mitigate risk by making sound decisions based on concrete economic data.”

During the conference, Steeds, who serves as director of Capital Markets for Bank of the West, will paint a global picture of the economy and its impact on local industries. Michael will provide vital information on the regional economy based off quarterly economic forecasts of the state and various regions throughout California, including the Central Valley.

The conference will also include a panel of business professionals from various industries. The panelists will discuss how the economy has impacted their decision making processes, changing regulatory factors, and what opportunities can be found during the next year. They include Greenlaw “Fritz” Grupe, chairman of The Grupe Company, and Lisa Blanco-Jimenez, principal at Neumiller & Beardslee and chair of the firm’s Employment Law Group.

“Business professionals from all areas of industry will benefit from the Business Forecast Conference because of the comprehensive approach to delivering important economic data from all over the region specific to factors that are affecting business in the Central Valley,” said Chamber CEO Brenna Butler Garcia. “By educating the business community on economic forecasts affecting our local economy, local business owners will be armed with the information they need to be successful in their businesses.”


For more information, or to purchase tickets to the 2014 Business Forecast Conference, call (209) 943-6117.

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