Updated: Aug 14, 2019
The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce met business owner Penelope Larry during a local networking event in March. Since then, Penelope has connected with different facets of the chamber – ultimately leading to the hiring of an employee, a new marketing strategy, and connections to resources to help further her business. We want to give Penelope some much deserved love and share her successes in the time she’s been with us.
GET TO KNOW DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMEN: THE STORE ON WATT
Penelope hails from the Bay Area – where she owned and operated another retail store with 12 employees until she set up shop here in Sacramento and took on her men’s clothing store on her own. Now, Distinguished Gentlemen is in its second year and looking to grow in sales as well as staff.
FINDING THE NEXT STEP FOR PENELOPE’S BUSINESS
During a phone consultation by the Global Initiatives Program (made by Mariana Guevara of our Minority Business Development Agency Export Center Team), Mariana connected with Penelope and performed a needs assessment – identifying what “next steps” could be taken to help grow Distinguished Gentleman. The first need identified is one that a lot of members come to us for – staffing.
THE CHAMBER WAS ABLE TO HELP WITH PENELOPE’S STAFFING NEEDS WITH THE HELP OF ITS STATEWIDE NETWORK
The Program’s director Tanya informed Mariana of a staffing opportunity with a new connection, Mariana connected Penelope to one of our partners, Southside Unlimited, a non-profit organization that operates an art center and recycling facility that provides adults with developmental disabilities a place to create art, do meaningful work, and earn a steady paycheck.
Southside Unlimited provides vocational opportunities and job training skills to adults with disabilities. They started a paid internship program for its clients in 2019 that offered a 1 year internship that could lead to permanent employment. They also provide job matching.
Knowing this, Mariana offered this avenue to Penelope, so she can get the assistance she needed in hiring employees without committing to labor cost immediately.