CAC’s SBDC hosts 2010 Buy Pinal Event at the Corporate Center March 19 7 a.m.-Noon

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Small businesses owned by minorities and women in Pinal County interested in contacting larger companies to discuss a fit for their products and services will have that opportunity to connect on Friday, March 19, at the 2010 Buy Pinal Event hosted by Central Arizona College’s Corporate Center in Casa Grande.

Likened to speed dating for businesses, the one-day event will be held from 7 a.m.-Noon at the CAC Corporate Center located at 540 N. Camino Mercado, Suite 1, just off the I-10 exit at Florence Boulevard.

The 2010 Buy Pinal Event is jointly sponsored by CAC’s Small Business Development Center, the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation and Arizona Public Service (APS). Central Arizona College’s SBDC receives support from both the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The CAC Small Business Development Center provides management and marketing counseling to Pinal County firms with less than 200 employees. All counseling assistance is provided at no cost to the client. Central Arizona College and the U.S. Small Business Administration jointly fund the center.

The mission of CAC’s SBDC is to help Pinal County businesses succeed. One-on-one confidential counseling is the primary method of assisting clients. The SBDC also conducts periodic seminars that offer clients and the public training in a variety of areas, such as starting or buying a business, using specific software applications, marketing, and developing an effective advertising program.

Jim Rhodes, the director of CAC’s SBDC, said the 2010 Buy Pinal Event helps foster commerce in Pinal County.

“This event will help develop and sustain collaborative partnerships that enhance workforce and economic development in Pinal County by providing an opportunity for small businesses to network with larger businesses,” he explained. “That could lead to opportunities for small businesses to promote and sell their products and services.”

The event is like speed dating for businesses. Participating small businesses are matched with buying big businesses and public agencies. Small business representatives have a prescribed time period to meet face-to-face with potential buyers of their goods and services. Opening  this door gives small businesses a chance to directly interact with potential buyers of their products and services.

“It really opens a door that is otherwise difficult to unlock for many small businesses,” Rhodes explained. “In addition, this is the perfect networking opportunity. Local big businesses will have representatives available to meet with small business owners.”

This marks the second straight year Central Arizona College has hosted the Buy Pinal Event.

“Last year was a rousing success,” Rhodes said. “This year we will have more large local businesses participating.

The inaugural Buy Pinal Event held on March 20, 2009, received strong accolades from area business leaders. The small business participants had the opportunity to meet with representatives from APS, Abbott Nutrition, ACO Polymer, Daisy Brand, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, Resolution Copper, Southwest Gas, Pinal County and the city of Casa Grande.

In addition to the sponsoring corporations, information booths for banks and alternate funding, as well as the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce and other resources, were available. This was an opportunity for small businesses to meet with larger businesses as well as a chance to meet each other.

“I felt fortunate to be involved in the very first Buy Pinal Event because I believe this event will grow even larger in the future,” Melissa Crytzer Fry of AzCommPro, stated. “The opportunity to meet face to face is so important and had it not been for this event, I would not have had that opportunity.”

Nikki Voytoski of N&D Designs stated that she made a lot of good contacts last year and felt the event was helpful to small businesses.

Inez Powell of CHS Unlimited echoed her comments.

“This event was a success for us,” she said. “It allowed us to meet potential clients we otherwise would not have had an opportunity to give a presentation. It was well organized with helpful suggestions for the businesses that needed the information. We were able to make new contacts and learn about upcoming projects.”

There is no charge to participate in the 2010 Buy Pinal Event. For more information on the 2010 Buy Pinal program or the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center, or to register for the event, please contact the CAC SBDC by phone at 520-494-6610, or by e-mail at

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