Discussion focuses on building economic resiliency on San Juan Ridge | TheUnion.com

Discussion focuses on building economic resiliency on San Juan Ridge

Submitted to The Union

The San Juan Ridge business community is holding an event 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center.

"The goal is to explore the economic and social advantages that growing new, independent local businesses bring to the San Juan Ridge — a rural community in Nevada County," a news release states. "The event includes examples of how other communities are navigating similar changing economic landscapes, a panel discussion celebrating innovative entrepreneurship and a community forum supporting and inspiring the next wave of entrepreneurship on the Ridge. This is a free event, and there will be an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions and share ideas."

Moderated and produced by Robert Trent, the event is drawing the attention of established and new business owners, as well as individuals from the manufacturing, cottage industry and agricultural sectors.

In 2009, Trent founded Sierra Commons, the first business incubator and co-working organization in the Sierra, and has been helping Nevada County entrepreneurs start and grow businesses for the past 15 years.

"The motivation behind the event is to help the Ridge community move through a significant economic transition while building a stronger and more resilient local economy," Trent said in the release.

A highlight of the evening will include a moderated panel discussion, featuring successful San Jan Ridge entrepreneurs, including Sagi Seagel of Sunlight Botanicals (sunlightbotanicals.com); Lars Ortegren of California Solar Electric Company (californiasolarco.com ); Pat Leach of RCD Engineering (rcdengineering.com); John Tecklin of Mountain Bounty Farm (mountainbountyfarm.com); and Samantha Hinrichs of Mud and Pearls (mudandpearls.com).

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"Building locally owned businesses is an opportunity for our community to invest in our values, in what we hold sacred, creating a world and economy we want to inhabit. And by 'invest,' I mean put our energy into something we build that provides for us over time," states Lars Ortegren. "Due to the relative geographic isolation of the Ridge, neighbors already rely on one another for many simple needs (i.e., borrowing a stick of butter and traditional barn raising). With such a strong sense of community, expanding the network of locally owned businesses is the next logical step in strengthening an already-vibrant local economy."

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