Category: Lunch and Learn

I heard some great advice today at a workshop in Grass Valley hosted by Score, an organization dedicated to small business, similar to Sierra Commons and based out of Sacramento.  One of the workshop presenters advised business owners to find a buddy and have a conversation or, at the very least, “take yourself out to coffee once a month.”

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Community members come together at Sierra Commons.

Running a business is no easy task. It’s good to have friends to talk to.  Sierra Commons can help.

Do you want to network casually and learn from other members of the business community? Do you need a few business buddies? Do you need a few folks to bounce ideas off of? The Sierra Commons “Lunch and Learn” is open to the public and allows folks to come together for an hour once per month for a casual, low-pressure, participant-driven round table.  We meet every first Thursday of the month from 12noon-1pn at the Sierra Commons Campus: 792 A Searls Ave in Nevada City.

Our next lunch and learn is on November 6th, 2014.

This is a chance to share ideas, brain storm and voice concerns in a relaxed environment. Bring a lunch! Please join us!


Don’t fret, it’s not too late to initiate a retirement plan.

Financial Advisor Sean Andersen will be at Sierra Commons to share tips on retirement planning for small business owners.

Learn basic strategies that you can use to help prepare for your golden years at this free workshop.

Please RSVP – and you’re welcome to bring your lunch!


Sean Andersen is a Financial Services Professional at New York Life, and VP of Public Relations for Marysville Toastmaster. He is active in community building and relations, and is also a member of the Nevada County Successful Thinkers Network.

Presented by Greg Barker, CPA

QuickBooks is the #1 rated small business financial software that organizes finances, tracks sales and expenses, and makes tax time easier.

In this introductory class, Greg Barker, CPA, will be demonstrating how QuickBooks is used to set up a chart of accounts, reconcile a checking account, create and print invoices, receipts, and statements, track payables, inventory, and receivables, create estimates, and generate reports.

Topics will also include:

  • Comparing other software and accounting options to QuickBooks
  • Why QuickBooks is the industry standard
  • Various QuickBook versions, and  how to determine which one is right for your business
  • Time, effort and initial expense involved to incorporate QuickBooks into your accounting system
  • What QuickBooks can save you in the long run – monetarily, and in peace of mind at tax time

If you’re using spreadsheets or manual methods, you’re likely spending more time on your books than you need to. Come to this free Sierra Commons class to see QuickBooks in action, and discover if it’s the right accounting program for your small business.

This event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Bring your lunch and learn something to move your business forward.

Please RSVP, seating is limited.

Sierra Commons is a non-profit organization. Donations to help sustain the Lunch and Learn workshops are warmly appreciated.

If you’re already using QuickBooks and want to take your QB skills to the next level, learn about new features, get tips, have questions or need hands on help, Greg will be teaching a series of QB workshops and holding live workshops at Sierra Commons.


1. Write One Sentence

Time: 1 minute  Cost: $0  Outcome: Awareness

Help us help Nevada County. Tell your community why you think Sierra Commons is important to you and our local economy.  Please use the comments section below.

2. Come to Nevada City City Council Meeting Tonight

Time: 60 minutes  Cost: $0  Outcome: Civic Engagement

Tonight the Nevada City Council will consider a proposal to locate Sierra Commons' education, business incubation and co-working programs to the Nevada City Veterans' Building.

Working with the local VFW, we have identified the Veterans' Building as a great, but underutilized, public asset. Our plan (pt1 pages 16-24, pt 2), while still only an outline, is one that we think will benefit the whole community. It will improve Sierra Commons' ability to help local residents create economic opportunities for themselves, while respecting veterans' use of the building and its role as a useful community space.

Location: Nevada City City Hall
Time: Meeting starts at 6:30pm.  7:30pm is a safe time to show up.

3. Set a Lunch Date

Time: 75 minutes  Cost: $10 suggested donation   Outcome: Business education and networking

Sierra Commons Lunch & Learn series includes a presentation or roundtable discussion by some of our area’s leading business professionals.  Events are held each Tuesday from 12-1:15 in the Sierra Commons conference room.  Our next session is October 2nd? and is hosted by Pamela Biery.  Pamela will cover marketing strategies that pull together your web, PR and social media marketing.

4. Make a Financial Donation

Time: 3 minutes  Cost: $1-$1B  Outcome: A more resilient local economy

Make your tax-deductible donations now and help Sierra Commons help our local economy.  

Visit us online and click on the "Donate" button on the top right of our site.

5. Set your Passions into Action

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: Starting at $25  Outcome: Gaining tools to follow your passion

Sierra Commons is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Passion Into Action conference  Friday – Sunday October 12-14, 2012.

In serving as a platform for the voices of women in a variety of disciplines, the Passion into Action Conference™ (PIA) creates a space for women to meet, network, and explore ideas.  Attendees are inspired to identify their passion, support a passion, collaborate, network and more. Most importantly PIA provides tools and avenues to help shift concepts & ideas into action.

6. Get Ignited

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: $350 (a $1,500 value)  Outcome: Becoming an inspired local business owner

Starting October 24, 2012, Sierra Commons will present a six-week course to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and launch a business.  More than a business plan workshop, this intensive course brings together a group of motivated entrepreneurs, and guides them through the steps needed to launch a business.

Register here

7. Support Local Business

Time: 20 minutes  Cost: $-$$$  Outcome: A stronger local economy

One of the greatest things an individual can do to support his or her local community is to patronize its locally owned businesses. Compared to their national competitors, local independent businesses recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to a community’s nonprofit and civic needs. They are better positioned to respond to the special needs of the community, and they are more tied to the community’s future. Additionally, unlike a homogenized Anyplace, USA, a community with vibrant independent businesses retains its unique character as a great place to live and visit.

Get going now with this handy list of local businesses Sierra Commons has helped launch.

8.  Jazz Yourself Up

Time: 5 minutes to register  Cost: $497  Outcome: Becoming an inspired local business owner

Think about how you can blend your inspiration, skills, and entrepreneurial aspirations.   Then write down the top three ideas you come up with.  Now narrow the list down to one amazing idea.  Then take one step TODAY to move forward.

Optional: Consider registering for our newest class offering YourBiz Blueprint.  We will help you create a web presence that allows you to earn a great living while following your passion.


Congratulations.  The actions you are taking now are making Nevada County a better place to live.

If you have other simple ways people can help our local economy, we want to hear from you.  Please post your comments below.

April 3rd

SPECIAL LUNCH AND LEARN SESSION: Marketing Strategies for Nevada County Tourism Industry: Roundtable Discussion

Note special time and location:  12:00- 2:00pm at The Stonehouse, downstairs from Sierra Commons

carlaPresented by: Carla Bonetti of  Nevada County Escapes

Tourism can bring additional revenue and jobs to our community. Learn what is being done to market Nevada County from local experts.  Panelists include:

Lunch & Learn Series Every Tuesday
12:00 to 1:15pm @ Sierra Commons

The Sierra Commons Lunch & Learn series is a presentation or roundtable discussion with some of our area’s leading professionals.

Bring a brown bag filled with your favorite midday meal and learn something to move your business forward.

A $10 donation is requested.

What creates excitement all day?

New Products, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Being an employer, New technology…

What keeps you awake at night?

The Economy, Sales, Marketing, Raising Capital, Hiring…

Come share your thoughts, hear what other local business owners are thinking about and doing to create opportunity in a challenging time. Join the local facilitators from The Alternative Board as they lead a powerful discussion with local business leaders about the challenges that exist for many businesses in this interesting climate. Your expertise and experience are requested. Click Here to RSVP or contact Ruth Schwartz at 530 288- 0180 or

November 16th
Lunch is Free: Noon – 1:30

Sierra Commons 107 Sacramento St., Suite 300 • Nevada City, CA 95959

Nevada County’s only free Business Executive Learning Lunch
Sponsored by Robertson, Woodford and Summers, CPAs and
The Alternative Board

Thanks to everyone who participated in the new business brainstorming session on October 7, it was a great success! Over twenty people showed up to pack the conference room at Sierra Commons and contribute their best and most creative ideas about what kind of new businesses might create jobs and revenue in Nevada County.

Despite the depressing economic climate, the mood was light-hearted and optimistic at Sierra Commons last Thursday. The session started out by reviewing the wealth of resources that Nevada County has to offer, from our beautiful natural environment to the large number of video, nonprofit, and green technology experts that call our county home. After looking at what is missing from Nevada County (a brewery!), we drew inspiration from the many businesses that are currently thriving in our area, such as organic farming, individual consultants, co-operative grocery stores, and education.


Shawn Tuttle of Project Simplify @ Brown Bag Lunch Tomorrow (Thursday October 14th, 2010)

Location: Sierra Commons 107 Sacramento Street, Suite 300 Nevada City, CA 95959
Time: 12:00- 1:15 PM
Bring your lunch and enjoy the conversation!

Shawn is joining us to share some of her insight about being a “Natural Professional”. According to Project Simplify, Natural Professionals are people who are dedicated to working with purpose, passion and peace. I think that summarizes the Sierra Commons’ community pretty well.

Here’s a little teaser from the Project Simplify website:  more

Bring your lunch and learn!   Every Thursday at noon, we host a brown bag lunch in the conference room.  This Thursday at noon, we are pleased to present  Larry Lipman of Accuchex Insurance Services.

Larry has over 25 years of experience providing insurance services and support to his business clients.   more

The Fund Development Panel Discussion scheduled for tomorrow Thursday, March 4th at Sierra Commons has been canceled. The event is being rescheduled for a later date.

If you still need your Sierra Commons fix tomorrow, then we have several options for you. Immediately following the Economic Resource Council Annual Meeting and Breakfast , Robert Trent will be more