Two Year Program Benefits Small Business in Los Angeles

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From left to right: George Perez, Senior Vice President, Regional Credit Officer, Popular Community Bank, Craig Keys, Associate Senior Vice President, USC Civic Engagement , Carlos Payan, Senior Vice President, Business Banking Manager, Popular Community Bank, Sylvia Figueroa, Vice President, CRA Manager, Popular Community Bank, Thomas Sayles, Senior Vice President, University Relations, USC, Vernon Aguirre, California Region Executive, Popular Community Bank, Theda Douglas, Associate Vice President, Civic Engagement, USC

Popular Community Bank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Popular Community Bank, distributed $100,000 to the USC Family of Businesses Initiative to develop and implement the new USC Popular Community Bank Small Business Leadership Forum, said California Region Executive Vernon Aguirre.

The Forum is a two-year program structured to benefit a broad range of small businesses grossing under $1.5 million annually around the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles.

The leadership forum, at no cost to business owners, will focus on strategic business planning, marketing and compliance taught by Popular Community Bank employees, faculty and graduate students from USC, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Southern California Minority Development Council (SCMSDC), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA). Graduates of the program will receive follow-up assistance with finance and operations, and advanced business educational opportunities.

“The new USC Popular Community Bank Small Business Leadership Forum is structured to have a significant impact on small businesses around the USC campus, offering skills and resources that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Vernon Aguirre, Popular Community Bank California Region Executive, and a member of the USC Latino Alumni Board. George Perez, Senior Vice President and Regional Credit Officer, is also on the USC Latino Alumni Board.

The first Popular Community Bank branch in the region opened in Los Angeles in 1975. Today there are 20 branches in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The bank fully supports small business development and financial literacy throughout its Southern California imprint. In June, 2013, the Popular Community Bank Foundation, distributed $90,000 to Operation HOPE to aid financial literacy in Los Angeles school districts.

The Popular Community Bank Foundation was established in 2004 with the mission of strengthening the social and economic well-being of the communities Popular Community Bank serves. The Foundation is a wholly employee-funded philanthropic organization that has invested more than $2 million in non-profit organizations with programs focusing on education and community/economic development. The Foundation grants are maximized with the time and effort of Popular Community Bank employee volunteers.

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(left) Craig Keys, Associate Senior Vice President, USC Civic Engagement, presenting (right) Vernon Aguirre, California Region Executive, Popular Community Bank, with USC Civic Engagement Family of Businesses “Appreciation Award”

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