U.S. Bank, fifth-largest bank in the United States and advisor to small businesses nationwide, has stepped up to support small businesses in North San Diego County by sponsoring the North San Diego Small Business Development Center online workshops. The North San Diego SBDC serves businesses in San Diego County north of Interstate 8. The online workshops are free to small business owners and cover a number of topics including financial planning, creating a business plan, business management, technology development, marketing, regulatory compliance and international trade. These interactive multimedia workshops provide in-depth strategies, tools, processes and solutions that can help business owners grow and manage their business. U.S. Bank small business experts will also be available to advise small businesses owners one-on-one during workshops or seminars. “Small business owners who are looking for a loan or line of credit want as much information as they can find before they take that next step,” said Hector Zatarain, senior vice president and head of small business at U.S. Bank in San Diego. “The local SBDC is a natural place to turn for information and resources, and given the constraints of public financing, we’re pleased to be able to step in and fill the gap.” The U.S. Bank sponsored online training for the North San Diego SBDC is available at http://www.va-interactive.com/sbdc/ot/modules_bank.php?state_name=CA-SANDIEG. The North San Diego SBDC is based at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, Calif., online at www.sandiegosmallbiz.com. SBDCs are resource partners of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provide technical assistance to existing small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. They support business performance and sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities. These small businesses in turn foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention as a result of the extensive one-on-one long-term counseling, training and specialized services they receive from the SBDCs. The SBDCs are made up of a unique collaboration of SBA, state and local governments, and private sector funding resources. U.S. Bank is a top SBA lender nationally, and its small business banking business has grown consistently in several metropolitan markets in California. U.S. Bank introduced a website exclusively for small business owners called Connect (usbankconnect.com). Each year, U.S. Bank conducts a survey of small business owners that looks at their views of economic factors affecting their businesses. Celebrating its 150th birthday in 2013, U.S. Bank has grown tremendously in California over the past five years, nearly doubling in size in both branch presence and the number of Californians it employs. With 78 branches and more than 900 employees, San Diego is home to U.S. Bank’s military program office and Small Business Administration lending division. Last year, its employees gave back by spending more than 3,000 hours volunteering with local organizations. Statewide, U.S. Bank provided nearly $10 million in contributions to the community.