City reaches out to entrepreneurs |

City reaches out to entrepreneurs

Susan Wood

In the business world, a vision commands a mission.

That’s why South Lake Tahoe wants to reward those with bright ideas the tools to implement them.

The city soon will launch its Entrepreneur Growth Program, a grant-assisted function of the Housing Development Department which helps startup businesses get off the ground. The city worked with consultant Jon Gregory of Golden Capital to plan its program.

Many startups go into business without a business plan or even reasonable expectations.

Lori Zoval, who runs an investment firm called Green Capital at Stateline, has been amazed by how many business owners open a company without those basic standards.

“They can’t get jobs that pay crap, so they go into business,” said Zoval, the president of the Entrepreneur’s Club who worked at Morgan Stanley in New York City. “It’s amazing how ignorant businesses are here. They’re just not being taught that.”

Last March, the service club – which spun off the Tahoe Tomorrow consortium dedicated to building the next generation of economies in Tahoe – started its own venture out into the challenging business world in the city.

South Lake Tahoe. Attendance has fluctuated from between 15 to 20 people.

“We want to inform small business what’s available to them,” she said.

Some have said that doing business here is like being in a vacuum – isolated from outside influences like business success stories and techniques to attract evolving markets.

Mort Meiers, who runs the Small Business Development Center for the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, calls entrepreneurships the wave of the future here.

“The club gives people in the concept stage or the operating stage the next step to growth. It’s good for people to share resources,” he said.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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