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Business owners can meet people in defense contract procurement and learn how to become more competitive in cybersecurity-related areas at the free Tri-County Defense Supply Chain and Business Resource Fair set for Friday. 

The fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Cybersecurity Institute at Camp San Luis Obispo, 10 Sonoma Ave., San Luis Obispo.

All businesses interested or already participating in government contracting are welcome, an event spokesman said, and defense contractors and subcontractors are especially encouraged to attend.

The Economic Development Collaborative is hosting the event in partnership with the California Community Colleges Doing What Matters for Small Business, the San Diego East County Economic Development Council and the Employment Training Panel.

Organizers want to help connect businesses to government procurement opportunities as part of the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis and Diversification Effort, or CASCADE, initiative, the spokesman said.

Business owners will have the opportunity to attend workshops and connect with resources to be more competitive and become more resilient in cybersecurity.

“EDC and its Small Business Development Center serve as a hub for businesses throughout the Tri-County Region, including those interested in serving the aerospace and defense supply chain,” said Bruce Stenslie, EDC president and chief executive officer.

“This informative free event will help small businesses learn how to be competitive in the government market and find out which government agencies buy what they are already selling,” he said.

In addition to the series of workshops, the event will allow attendees to network with presenters.

Industry experts making presentations will include Chris Buthe, manager of Cyber Physical Security Services, and Gayla Jurevich, deputy sector navigator for the Small Business South Central Region and director at the Cuesta College Business and Entrepreneurship Center.

Other presenters will include Elizabeth Liddell, program manager, and Jo Marie Diamond, president and CEO, of the San Diego East County Economic Development Council, among others.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided, Stenslie said.

For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/March1Cascade.

EDC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region.

For more information, contact Stenslie at 805-384-1800, ext. 24, or bruce.stenslie@edcollaborative.com or visit www.edcollaborative.com.

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This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.