Power Networking Group

Pat Lairson and Moshe Klein are the co-creators of Maricopa’s Power Networking Group.

MARICOPA — Last year, Maricopa residents Pat Lairson and Moshe Klein struggled with the same problem: They couldn’t find qualified, reputable businesses to help them with projects they were working on.

“There were either so few licensed people, or the good ones would get so busy,” Lairson said. “There was a constant turnover, and I had a really hard time finding reputable vendors in this area.”

That is when they decided to take matters into their own hands.

Lairson, a real estate agent, wanted to create a group of small businesses and help them reach a higher level of success. She started off by making a Facebook page. However, right before her page went public, she saw a similar page that had just been created by Klein, an accountant.

The two had met a couple months prior when Klein sold Lairson some furniture. Lairson decided to reach out to Klein to see if he wanted to work with her, and together they created the Power Networking Group.

“It’s just about having a database of qualified, honest, reliable, responsible professionals,” Klein said.

The group is a collection of licensed small business owners. They focus on networking and improving business practices. PNG holds networking breakfasts and workshops that discuss insurance, taxes, customer service, work attire and many other vital business ideals.

Through their group, they said they have seen at least 30 people get licensed who would not have done so otherwise. They have also seen people get insurance and start filing and paying taxes. This is all accomplished through mentoring from Lairson and Klein or others in the city.

They have also partnered with the agency Arizona at Work to offer more services. One of those is a job fair that they plan to host in the spring. They also have an upcoming speed networking event at City Hall on Oct. 17.

“Our networking is effective,” Klein said. “Everyone is talking, friendships are being developed, but most importantly, business is being stimulated.”

Joining PNG is completely free, and it is also free to attend the events. Lairson and Klein said it’s not about making money, it’s about helping people. Their group has become so popular that they have extended to Casa Grande and Scottsdale, and they plan to soon open groups in Phoenix and Chandler.

“We’re not an island, so we didn’t want to form this group and keep it here,” Lairson said. “So we started forming partnerships from the beginning.”

Another partnership they are working to establish is one with Maricopa Unified School District and the local charter schools.

If all goes as planned, they will offer an eight-week job training and skills development course for juniors and seniors. Here, students will learn about credit cards, filling out job applications, what to wear to a job interview and more.

At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate displaying that they have knowledge of these skills.

“Then, God willing, we’re going to have people in the community offering internships, summer jobs and full-time and part-time employment,” Klein said. “We want to start a track of success, and it starts in the high school.”

For those who want a little extra financial advice, Klein also hosts a weekly radio show on Money Radio. This show boasts small business success stories, organizational advice specific to small business, entrepreneurship, jobs and upcoming events. It airs every Sunday at noon on 1510 AM or 105.3 FM.

Overall, Lairson and Klein simply want to increase the resources to small businesses and help them in all their ventures.

“I really believe that there is enough business for everyone. Part of our mission is to help people realize that and to be as good in business as they possibly can,” Lairson said. “Our goal is just to help people raise the bar in the way they do business.”