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VENTURA COUNTY REVIEW

Seminar Helps Firms Cut Through City's Red Tape

September 24, 1996

The city of Ventura and the Gold Coast Small Business Development Center will present a workshop Wednesday to help local business owners learn to navigate the red tape of city ordinances and fight negative impressions about doing business with city government.

"There has been a perception that Ventura has not been particularly user-friendly in the past," said David Kleitsch, Ventura's economic development manager. "But we are not just this big building on the hill. There are people here who will work with the community and in the community. By breaking down what the perception is, we can become more user-friendly."

Kleitsch and fellow city employees will share the stage at the workshop, "Conducting Business in the City of Ventura," from 9 to 11 a.m. in the City Council chambers at Ventura City Hall.

The program will cover such topics as how to get a business license, the ins and outs of Ventura's zoning and building codes, occupancy permits and other building regulations and how to sell goods and services to the city. It is intended for entrepreneurs considering starting a business in Ventura, owners of home-based or small businesses looking to expand and owners of small businesses planning to move to the city.

"Most people don't interact daily with the city, and when they come to the city, they feel kind of out of place," Kleitsch said. "We want to open up that mystery and reach out to the business community, to let them know what is involved with doing business in Ventura."

Joseph Huggins, director of the Gold Coast center, said he hopes the workshop will encourage more small and home-based businesses in Ventura.

"We would love to have the city of Ventura be a mecca for entrepreneurs," he said. "The city wanted to get the word out to the community about home-based businesses. There are certain communities that don't see the light about encouraging home-based businesses, but [such businesses] are a huge market. And with all the downsizing, that is something that people should become aware of. And [office] space downtown is becoming very, very scarce."

The workshop is free. Call 658-2688 to register.

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