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Cassava/Balboa Village Merchants Association: Keep Up With Technology

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Yuka Iaroi, General Manager of Cassava and founder of the Balboa Village Merchants Association.

Balboa Village Merchants Association

What is your Company’s Mission?   

Cassava’s mission is to provide the modern California cuisine in a neighborhood setting with an approachable price point. To produce and serve with integrity.

How does your organization support and engage the small business community?           

To serve the community that supported us and “raised” us the last 5 years, I started Balboa Village Merchants Association to be the marketing force and bridge between local owner operated merchants and the City and various organizations.
We also donated to causes that support early childhood education and LGBTQIA rights.

What tools and resources has your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business?      

Our website has a great directory of merchants and their social media links, which has been helpful for the residents to learn more about their neighborhood businesses.

On our social media accounts, we consistently share content from merchants to our page so that residents in the area have a source with all of their neighborhood merchants’ information compiled into one easy place.

I regularly volunteer my time to set up other merchant’s social media accounts in the community. In turn I ask for a small donation ($100/month) for the association. This is how we fund the association rather than depending on merchants’ dues.

Marjan Philhour, Exective Director of the SF Community Alliance for Jobs & Housing,  has been a driving force for the BVMA and with her influence she has brought many business communities to us such as SFCDMA, who helps us promote our strip to the whole City.

What are the trends you see when you think about the small business marketplace, and how will these trends shape the future of small business?

San Francisco consumers are extremely educated in quality of products and food, and have a high consciousness of keeping things sustainable and local.

Businesses that are offering products made local with sustainable ingredients, providing top notch service and are actively engaging in social media, are seeing success. That is definitely the trend.

Can you share one brief story about how your company is helping San Francisco businesses thrive?     

I’m working with writers and Airbnb to get a feature written about the Outer Richmond to raise the profile of the strip. With 3 popular restaurants, especially active during weekend brunch, we are using them as the way to attract the beach and Legion of Honor museum visitor traffic.

Balboa Village Merchants Association

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?

Ditch the old credit card machine and go with Square. You get your deposit in 1-2 days, fees already deducted, get to collect customer information, and you can accept all credit cards.
Marketing help that can come out of Square combined with the information you collect will pay more than their flat 2.75% fees.
Square also has the Square Capital program that can help with the cash flow.

Connect with Cassava:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Balboa Village Merchants Association

Connect with Balboa Village SF:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram