Hundreds of local business owners and hopefuls gathered in downtown Bakersfield Thursday night for the Bakersfield Business Conference and Expo.
Thursday's event at Rabobank Convention Center was put on by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
More than 100 businesses were at the event to share ideas and network. Many of them were small business owners, including Martin Guerrero, who owns Hacienda Guerrero Catering.
Even though Guerrero started his family business 17 years ago, Thursday's expo was an important opportunity for him to meet community members.
"When people hear that we're a small, local business, it helps because they know they're giving back to the community of Kern County, and Bakersfield has been great in giving to the community," Guerrero said.
Guerrero said the first few years after starting Hacienda Guerrero Catering were tough, but worth it after a lot of long hours, hard work and sacrifice.
"If you have an idea, regardless of what it is, give it a shot, do your best, and give it 100% and if you have bad days, remember there's good days as well," Guerrero said.