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In The Energetic Trenches With Local Entrepreneurs
LA MESA -- In tough economic times, it can be depressing to sit at home listening to the pundits kvetch and speculate on the cause of the latest market turn.
One remedy is to get out among those who are actually looking for ways to turn it all around.
Monday night, that place was the Art & Light Studio on La Mesa Boulevard. David Zaloudek, owner of the Marcella June's Coffee Lounge, hosted a special mixer of the La Mesa Business Networking Group that usually meets on Monday nights in his La Mesa Boulevard shop.
There were entrepreneurs and contractors, politicians and realtors, young artisans and computer technicians -- all gathered to exchange the latest tips and leads that might help their established and fledgling businesses in tough times. Zaloudek publicly thanked La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid and other business leaders for attending.
"We thank you for coming and we encourage you all to talk, network and share with each other,'' Zaloudek said in the only moment that approached a formal program for the evening. The rest of the time was left for business owners and operators to look for help, ideas and contacts among others on the front lines of small business wars.
Smack dab in the middle of it all was Tim Fronczek, one of the few people who answered when asked "that business was good.''
Fronczek had been working in Information Technology for Home Depot but left to return to Lemon Grove to care for his aging parents. From his new Lemon Grove home, he and his son started a new business -- The Computer Admin -- and has been quickly adding clients, handling their technology needs, much of it executed over the Internet. He has no store front and tries to support local merchants, but often has to turn to the 'net for lower costs and superior inventory.
That seemed to be a constant theme in conversations throughout the evening -- learning to compete with Internet competitors while using the Internet tools to operate better, more efficient businesses.
The evening was catered by Tiramisu, the restaurant located just next door to Art & Light.