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The SFSBDC: A Results-Oriented Program for Small Businesses

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Angel Cardoz, Director at the SFSBDC. The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a results-oriented program that provides expert no-cost advising and workshops in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese, to guide small businesses to success. What are the SFSBDC’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Between July 1st and June 30th, the SFSBDC consulted 144 clients (100%), facilitated 44 workshops (183%), created 114 new jobs (253%, 7 with ED-1 Forms), retained 54 jobs (154%, 51 with ED-1 Forms), referred 40 traceable businesses to partner agencies (111%), assisted 31 start-up businesses with EI achieved (221%) and […]


Office of Small Business: The Central Point of Small Business Information

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Regina Dick-Endrizzi, Executive Director at the San Francisco’s Office of Small Business. Along with the San Francisco Business Portal, the Office of Small Business functions as the City’s central point of information to assist small businesses. We provide direct services through customized one-on-one assistance, collaborations with other City agencies and referrals to various small business resources to help San Francisco businesses succeed and flourish. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? The Office of Small Business in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the Department of Technology launched […]


SAP: Run Your Business at Its Best & Accelerate Decision Making

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from Eric Friedrichesen, VP and Head of SMB for SAP North America. What is your Company’s Mission? SAP’s mission is to enable every company in the universe to run at their best through our technology. This means companies of all sizes – from startups to the Fortune 500, we enable businesses to simply run at their best.   How does SAP support and engage the small business community? 80% of SAP’s customers are small and midsize companies. They use our solutions to take complexity out of running their business, so they can focus on growing their company. SAP solutions tie inventory and financing to your point of sale […]


American Express: Enriching Lives and Building Business Success

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from American Express. What the mission of American Express?  American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. We are uniquely positioned to deliver on our promise to have our customers’ backs as they live life and do business.   How does American Express support and engage the small business community?  American Express supports and engages the small business community in many different ways. The company has made significant investments to change the way that it works with small merchants. We introduced the OptBlue® program, which helps small businesses work with third-party […]


San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations (SFCDMA): Advocate For, Support & Promote Small Business

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations (SFCDMA).   What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? SFCDMA’s recent accomplishments include workshops with social media companies, merchant walks, collaborating with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and other organizing in a day of Business Meet a City, and summits with district supervisors What tools and resources has your SFCDMA created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business? We actively publicize on our website, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram and Google.   San Francisco […]


PG&E: Together, Building A Better California

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from Megan Porter, Sr. Marketing Strategist at PG&E.   How does PG&E support and engage the small business community? Two years ago PG&E launched a program specifically tasked with onboarding small business customers when they started service with PG&E. Through this program, each new customer was assigned a representative that talked them through various tools and resources PG&E had available to ease their transition as a new business owner. From there the customers were enrolled in a two-year long email series that provided tips and program opportunities based on where the customer was in their new business journey.   What tools and resources has your company […]


Main Street Launch: Empowering Entrepreneurs with Capital, Education, and Relationships

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Karla De Leon, Vice President of Economic and Business Development at Main Street Launch. What are some of Main Street Launch’s accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Since 1979, Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance), has provided capital, education, and relationships to aspiring and existing small business owners. In the last five years, we have provided 389 companies with over $40 million in loan capital. These companies have created and sustained 2900 jobs in our communities. Our portfolio is diverse and reflects the communities we serve in Oakland and San Francisco, as well as veteran-owned businesses across […]


CleanPowerSF: “It’s Easier Than Ever to Make a Positive Impact”

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from Marina Parsos, Communications Manager at CleanPowerSF. Operated by the City of San Francisco through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, CleanPowerSF is a partnership with PG&E to offer cleaner energy at low, stable rates. How does your CleanPowerSF support and engage the small business community? This July (2018), we will be enrolling San Francisco businesses into CleanPowerSF! To get the word out and to answer any questions that business owners might have about CleanPowerSF, GoSolarSF, or other energy programs at the SF Public Utilities Commission, we’re doing as much as possible to engage with the business community. We participate in many business networking events, attend merchant […]


Bay Area Development Company: Helping Clients Control & Predict Long-Term Costs

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from Rich Grant, Senior Vice President-Market Manager at Bay Area Development Company   What is Bay Area Development Company’s Mission? We provide SBA 504 loans to assist companies to finance commercial real estate at below market fixed rates with low down payments and long terms. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Bay Area Development Company supports the small business community with our financing and our expertise. We engage the small business community through other financial intermediaries including commercial real estate brokers, banking professionals and other center of influence. What tools and resources has Bay Area Development created to help small businesses tap […]


Bank of America: A High-Tech, High-Touch Approach to Small Business Banking

We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we hear from Emily Shanks, Small Business Division Executive at Bank of America.     What is Bank of America’s Mission? Our purpose is to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection.   How does your organization support and engage the small business community?  Bank of America‘s high-tech, high-touch approach provides industry leading guidance, connections, tools and solutions, along with the dedicated support to address small business owners’ unique needs to bank how, where and when they want. Our small business specialists provide banking, credit and cash management solutions for our small business clients. Our Small Business group, including our Practice Solutions team, primarily […]


Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA): Success is in Your Hands.

Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, the Mission Economic Development Agency’s’s mission is to strengthen low-and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. #SFSBW2018 sat down with some of the top small business resources in the city to find out what they are doing for the community. Today we hear from Edwin Rodriguez, Business Development Program Manager at the Mission Economic Development Agency, or MEDA. What are MEDA’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? As a result of our free business services, 48 small businesses were created or expanded by our clients, primarily Latino immigrants, in 2017. This translated to the creation of 60 jobs in the community. MEDA’s Adelante Fund CDFI disbursed […]


TMC Financing: “Owning Your Building Means No More Rising Rent”

Meet Our Sponsors! We’ve asked some of our #SFSBW2018 sponsors to share their insights, and how they help small business flourish in San Francisco. Today we sit down with Barbara Morrison, CEO of TMC Financing. What is TMC Financing’s Mission? TMC Financing’s team of experts act as a link between the public and private sectors. We promote economic development through job creation and business expansion by providing funding for small and medium sized businesses in California and Nevada. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? We simplify the loan approval process for small business owners. Our team coordinates the entire process from application through closing, funding and servicing, making it seamless for small business owners, their banker and broker. What tools and resources has your organization created […]


Pacific Community Ventures: “We Can’t Overemphasize the Value of Mentorship”

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Patrick Duggan, Director of Pacific Community Ventures. Patrick, what is Pacific Community Ventures’ mission? Pacific Community Ventures envisions a world of thriving communities where everyone has a fair shake. Our mission is to invest in small businesses, create good jobs for working people, and make markets work for social good. We achieve our mission through a combination of fair lending, free mentorship, skilled volunteerism, social impact measurement and management tools, and field-building research. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Pacific Community Ventures matched 385 small businesses with pro bono mentors in 2017. Our business […]


US Small Business Administration: Sometimes You Need Additional Support

#SFSBW2018 asked some of our small business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Julie Clowes, District Director of the local US Small Business Administration. What is the mission of the US Small Business Administration? Our mission is to help start and grow businesses in Northern California. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? SBA participating lenders made over $1B in loans to small businesses in Northern California last year. We work with many local resource partners to provide daily free one-on-one mentoring and low-cost training. The 8(a) Business Development Program offers assistance to small businesses interested in government contracting. The 8(a) BD Program has been essential for […]


Capital Access Group: “This Building is My Retirement”

What is Capital Access Group’s Mission? We finance real estate solutions for growing businesses. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Capital Access Group is the only San Francisco-based Certified Development Company (CDC) that provides long-term, fixed rate financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program. This program offers 90% financing to business owners for the purchase, renovation, or construction of commercial real estate for their business. We’ve been in business for more than 35 years, and in that time, we’ve made thousands of loans to Bay Area business owners who leverage the 504 funds to grow, create new jobs, and strengthen the local community. Capital Access also invests directly in the small business community. Earlier this year, we provided funds to assist in […]


Save the Date! 2018 San Francisco Small Business Week: May 14-19

It is only February and we are already energized by the amazing things happening across San Francisco. Let’s ride this excitement into the 14th Annual 2018 San Francisco Small Business Week (SFSBW) from May 14 – 19, 2018! Whether you are a long time participant or a recent member to our community, you’ll find new resources, ideas and inspiration offered by city agencies, nonprofits, chambers and merchants associations dedicated to small business success. In fact, those are available to you all year long! What you’ll find at this year’s SFSBW: We kick-off the week with InspireSF, a new event to immerse attendees in a moving discussion of the evolution of small business. Looking for the next big idea or the answers to your challenges? The Small Business Conference at the […]


#SFSBW2017: Dedicated To Your Success All Year

San Francisco has some of the best, brightest and most unique small businesses in the country, so it is not a surprise that we have one of the largest Small Business Week celebrations in the country. Thank you for joining us for the 13th Annual San Francisco Small Business Week! It was an exceptional and inspiring week that brought together small business owners, small business resources and sponsors for inspiration and education, networking and connecting all for the purpose of building success for today and into the future. Just because San Francisco Small Business Week is over, does not mean access to great resources has to end. Check out the numerous resources below. Assistance and Capital for Small Business Entrepreneurs City Business Resource Portal Office of Small Business Portal of […]


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. 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 […]


Centro Community Partners: Be Yourself

#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 Centro Community Partners. What is your Company’s Mission?    Centro Community Partner’s mission is to build thriving communities by providing underserved, low-income entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business advising, mentorship, and access to capital. How does your organization support and engage the small business community?            We believe that the development of healthy small businesses, particularly those owned and run by low-income and underserved individuals, is one of the most effective sources of economic and social benefits. Our prosperity model begins with the idea that all individuals have the capacity to break the cycle of poverty and build thriving communities through entrepreneurship, as long as they have access […]


CDC Small Business Finance: You Don’t Have to Do Everything

#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 CDC Small Business Finance. What is your Company’s Mission?    CDC Small Business Finance is a not-for-profit lender providing capital to small businesses so they can expand, grow and create jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada. CDC makes a difference one job, one small business, one community at a time.  How does your organization support and engage the small business community?            CDC engages with many facets of the small business community with industry reports, rate updates and trend alerts to keep lenders and bankers up to date so they can do their job better. To our borrowers, we offer a community of support, resources and custom one-on-one […]


Bay Area Development Company: Focus on What You Do Best

#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 Bay Area Development Company. What is your Company’s Mission? Bay Area Development Company provides SBA 504 loans so companies can finance commercial real estate at below market fixed rates with low down payments and long terms. This is done by providing responsive, personal service and rock solid advice. How does your organization support and engage the small business community?  We work to make small businesses stronger and to provide resources to help them build communities and create new, local jobs. This is accomplished by supporting a wide range of resources, including; SBA Small Business Development Centers, San Francisco Small Business Network, and Small Business California, to name a […]


Congratulations to Our 2017 Small Business Week Honorees!

Every year during San Francisco Small Business Week, Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the San Francisco Economic Development Alliance come together to award and recognize small businesses who inspire others or exemplify excellence in their community. We would like to take a moment to congratulate all our 2017 Small Business Week Honorees. We hope you’ll join us this week in honoring them as well as celebrating the numerous accomplishments and efforts of the thousands of other small businesses who continue to shape our communities and keep San Francisco a unique, thriving city! Mayor Ed Lee’s 2017 Small Business Week Honorees Local Hire: Duc Loi’s Pantry, Howard and Amanda Ngo Community Leadership: Two Jack’s Seafood, Nikki Cooper Community Impact: Ferment.Drink.Repeat, Shae and Kevin Inglin Community […]


Opportunity Fund: Invest to Flourish

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Opportunity Fund. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses, invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing, and aims to help owners financially succeed. Elyse Thogerson of RAW in San Francisco. Read Elyse’s Opportunity Fund success story here. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Our goal is to reach more underserved businesses by integrating technology and community- based lending to provide a seamless customer experience that provides funding quickly to borrowers who currently aren’t being served by […]


Office of Small Business: Do Your Homework!

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from the Office of Small Business. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. The Office of Small Business along with the San Francisco Business Portal function as the City’s central point of information to assist small businesses by providing direct services through customized one-on-one assistance, collaborations with other City agencies and referrals to various small business resources to help San Francisco businesses succeed and flourish. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Office of Small Business in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the Department of Technology launched The […]


Working Solutions: Gain Experience in the Industry Before Going Out on Your Own

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Working Solutions. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence Working Solutions provides affordable microloans, customized business consulting, and community connections for entrepreneurs unable to secure traditional financing to grow thriving local businesses that create jobs. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? We nominated our client, Sow Juice, for SF Small Business of the Year 2017 and they won! Working Solutions has… Provided over $12 million in microlending to over 600 small businesses since 2005. Graduated our clients to over $12 million in bank loans and leveraged finance. Helped create or retain over 2,000 […]


USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center: Family Business Drives US economy

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. We provide family-owned businesses with technical assistance, access to networking, and an open exchange of strategic and practical business information.  We also advance the field of family business research, education and scholarship. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Over the last year, the University of San Francisco’s Gellert Family Business Resource Center has sponsored a wine speaker’s series with the intent of providing continuity, financial and legal support to family-owned wineries.  Our most recent event focused on enhancing profitability and […]


San Francisco Small Business Development Center: Success Favors Those Who Adapt

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from San Francisco Small Business Development Center. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. To help existing and aspiring entrepreneurs start and expand businesses by providing one-on-one consulting and business training. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? In 2016, the San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SFSBDC) served 330 unique clients and provided 2,503 hours of customized one-on-one business consulting. Additionally, the SFSBDC facilitated 49 workshops and trained a total of 608 workshop participants; topics included, but were not limited to marketing, sales, access to capital, financial management, social media, and QuickBooks training. Thanks to […]


San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations: Keep Your Ears to the Ground

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence Since 1949, the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations‘ mission has been to protect, preserve, and promote small business. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Fostering better and clearer communication between the different merchant associations to promote small business. We’ve helped merchants form new merchant groups, like the Upper Divisadero Merchants. What tools and resources have your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business? SFCDMA […]


Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center: Know Your Financials

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center (also known as “Renaissance”) provides small business training, access to capital and resources and ongoing support to help small businesses launch, grow and thrive. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Each year Renaissance serves over 1,600 Bay Area women and men who in turn start and grow more than 600 businesses. Renaissance is honored to have received the 2017 San Francisco Council of District Merchants Association Small Business Advocacy  Award. What tools and resources have your organization created to help […]


Pacific Community Ventures: Look to Your Friendly Neighborhood CDFI

#SFSBW2017 asked some of our resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Pacific Community Ventures. Tell us about your organization’s mission in one sentence. Pacific Community Ventures is a nonprofit here in San Francisco that engages small businesses, investors and policymakers to build an economy that works for everyone. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? In 2016 we provided 379 small businesses with access to fair and affordable loans and free expert mentorship. The businesses we worked with created and retained 3,492 jobs. Companies working with our advising and lending programs grew their revenues by 20% on average and had an average 44% job growth — which […]


TMC Financing: Own the business? Own the building.

#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 TMC Financing. What is your Company’s Mission?    We are a small business advocate that promotes economic development through job creation and business expansion by providing funding for small and medium-sized businesses. Our motto is “if you own the business, you should own the building.”  How does your organization support and engage the small business community?            We provide funding for small to medium-sized businesses that will help them purchase a stable operating location for their business, providing them with security that is not possible while renting.  With the 504 Loan Program, we help business owners secure financing with only 10% down payment and below market FIXED interest […]


Main Street Launch: Sufficient Cash Flow can be the Difference between Staying in Business and Closing

#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 Main Street Launch. What is your Company’s Mission? Our mission is to create economic opportunity by empowering entrepreneurs with capital, education, and relationships that allow them to flourish, create jobs, and stimulate economic development in low-to-moderate income communities. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Since 1979, Main Street Launch has provided capital, education, and relationships to aspiring and existing small business owners. In the last five years, we have provided 316 companies with over $32 million in loan capital. These companies have created and sustained over 2600 jobs in our communities. What tools and resources has your organization created to help […]


#SFSBW2017: It’s Time to Invest in You

Because you’re investing in San Francisco as a business owner, we want to invest in you! Being a small business owner is no easy task, but San Francisco is home to a wealth of resources and organizations that offer free services to help you achieve your vision and increase your odds of long-term business success. San Francisco Small Business Week is THE opportunity to connect with business resources, community leaders, and attend free workshops. Stand with city organizations and small business resources dedicated to your success! Access workshops at the Small Business Conference all week! Check out the schedule of amazing topics below. Find tools, resources and support at the Small Business Conference, held this year throughout the week to allow you even more access to a wide range of […]


Registration is Open For San Francisco Small Business Week 2017!

San Francisco has always been a dynamic and vibrant city by the Bay. Filled with dreamers and doers, a rich mixture of people that believe in the power of community. Second only to the views are our business owners who provide vibrancy, diversity and growth at all corners of our city. This week is in celebration of you – our small business owners. Standing with you are the local chambers of commerce, merchant associations, nonprofits and city, state and federal agencies. This week, they want to thank you for all that you do for San Francisco. During San Francisco Small Business Week, we invite you to join us and celebrate the city we have built. We want to meet you, and make sure you are connecting with other business owners, […]


“Surround Yourself with People Who Believe In You” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Working Solutions

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Working Solutions. What is your organizations mission? Working Solutions invests in the success of local businesses one microloan at a time by financing businesses that are ineligible for a bank loan with $5,000-$50,000 and offering each borrower up to 5 years of free business consulting and advising after their loans are funded. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? In March, Working Solutions celebrated 17 years of helping local small businesses achieve their dreams. We recently surpassed $10 million lent or granted to Bay Area business owners, who have created or retained over 1,400 jobs. We are […]


San Francisco Small Business Week 2016 Was A Success!

San Francisco Small Business Week was an exceptional and inspiring week for the City of San Francisco. For the 12th annual year we hosted events, workshops and engaged small businesses to find new opportunities, get connected, and achieve success. Beginning with Flavors of SF on Monday, May 23rd through the Small Business Conference on Thursday, May 26th, we created numerous opportunities for networking and education while honoring and inspiring a diverse array of small businesses throughout San Francisco. Thank you to all of our 2016 sponsors for making this event possible! We’d especially like to thank Bank of America for joining us as the Presenting Sponsor, Comcast Business for joining us as the Small Business Conference host, and San Francisco Office of Small Business for joining us as the Flavors of […]


“Vet Your Idea, Test Your Market and Tread Carefully” #SFSBW2016 Interview: La Cocina

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from La Cocina. What is your organizations mission? La Cocina provides affordable commercial kitchen space and hands-on technical assistance to low-income and immigrant women entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Now in its 10th year, La Cocina has graduated over 20 businesses, with 18 brick and mortar locations throughout the Bay Area. At a time when commercial real estate continues to be inaccessible, Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas secured and moved into a tamale factory, D’Maize opened their restaurant on 24th Street, and El Buen Comer will open on […]


“Be Clear About Your Mission, Your Vision, and Your Values” #SFSBW2016 Interview: ICA Fund Good Jobs

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from ICA Fund Good Jobs. What is your organization’s mission? We work high-growth small business to create accessible good jobs. We believe that successful businesses start with good employers and we are committed to educating, accelerating, and investing in good job-creating local businesses. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Last year we invested in two local companies, Firebrand Artisan Breads and Red Bay Coffee, bringing our total invested amount to over $2,000,000. We invest in high-growth companies that are committed to providing good jobs and that have gone through our education and accelerator programs. What tools and […]


San Francisco Small Business Week – Thank You and Your Feedback

Thank you for your participation in San Francisco Small Business Week! We hope you had a great experience and walked away with new contacts, new ideas, and resources to help strengthen and grow your Small Business. Let’s give a huge thanks to our sponsors, host and resource organizations who offered their time, support and expertise in creating a meaningful experience for attendees. We would like to hear from you about your experience throughout the week! Your feedback helps us plan our activities for next year and lets our sponsors know that you appreciate their support of these events. Please click the link below to give us your feedback. Thank you for completing the following brief survey: San Francisco Small Business Week 2016 Survey Thank you again for joining us and […]


“Control your own destiny, grow your business and build equity for your future!” #SFSBW2016 Interview: TMC Financing

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from TMC Financing. What is your company’s mission? TMC provides owner-occupied commercial real estate financing to Bay Area businesses through the SBA 504 loan program. Own your building with as little as 10 percent down at below-market, long-term, FIXED interest rates. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? TMC Financing is the No. 1 SBA 504 lender in Northern California. TMC has the fastest loan turnaround time at SBA among our peers. We have helped more than 5,000 businesses buy, build or renovate commercial real estate projects totally more than $8 billion in California and Nevada. What tools and resources has your organization created […]


“Don’t Be Afraid to Use Social Media for Marketing” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Shop and Dine in the 49

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Shop and Dine in the 49. What is your organizations mission? Shop and Dine in the 49 is a buy local initiative that encourages residents and visitors to shop locally. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Shop and Dine in the 49 partnered with the Super Bowl to highlight local neighborhoods, via Super Communities. Seven neighborhoods organized events in their communities which invited residents and guests of San Francisco to explore and celebrate. What tools and resources has your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, […]


“Understand Your Competition and Define What Makes You Unique” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Wells Fargo

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Steve Ward, SVP – Small Business Segment Manager at Wells Fargo. What is your company’s mission? We want to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? We are a proactive member of the small business community.  We have over 40 stores placed throughout the many neighborhoods of San Francisco placing us firmly in the center of the small business community.  Our Small Business Specialists take the time to understand the goals and needs of your individual business and match the solutions necessary to help your business be successful.  We also have over 8000 […]


“Small businesses have a wealth of information, technology and tools available to help them compete with larger businesses” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Comcast Business

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Comcast Business. What is your company’s mission? Comcast Business provides business-grade products, services, and expertise to meet the complex and diverse demands of businesses, through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support. Comcast Business is Built for Business. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Comcast NBC Universal started as a small business 50 years ago and we honor those roots by bringing together entrepreneurship, technology and innovation.  In 2016, Comcast Business provided programs like Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs, the Tomorrow Tour, the Comcast Business Community and many local events and activities to help small businesses be more productive. What tools […]


#SFSBW2016: Congratulations to 2016 Small Business Awardees

Every year during San Francisco Small Business Week, Mayor Ed Lee’s and the Board of Supervisors, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the San Francisco Economic Development Alliance come together to award small businesses who inspire others or exemplify excellence. We’d like to take a moment to congratulate all of those organizations. We hope you’ll join us this week to celebrate these small businesses, and the thousands of other small businesses who continue to shape our communities and keep San Francisco a world-class city! U.S. Small Business Administration 2016 National Small Business of the Year Helen Russell, Equator Coffee and Tea U.S. Small Business Administration 2016 Emerging Business Nona Lim, Noma Lim Mayor Ed Lee’s 2016 Small Business Week Honorees Local Hire: Gus’s Community Market Community Leadership: San Francisco Federal […]


“Customize Your Hiring” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Office of Economic and Workforce Development

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). What is your organization’s mission? The Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s (OEWD) mission is simple – we support the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco. Under the direction of Mayor Edwin M. Lee, OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? OEWD coordinates the San Francisco Workforce Development System, which strives to ensure that San Francisco has a qualified workforce that attracts, retains and expands industries, and enhances the quality of […]


The 12th Annual San Francisco Small Business Week Starts Today!

As nearly one of 80,000 small businesses and startups in San Francisco, your business has a tremendous impact on your community and the city’s economic vitality. Together, we create an innovative and vibrant San Francisco. Know that your business is an important part of our community and neighborhood, and without it, San Francisco would not be the same. This week is for you! Here are some ways to tap into opportunity! Go talk to your neighbors. There are awesome business people in this city who also want your neighborhood to thrive! Get smarter. Learn how the future shops and what they want. You get out what you put in. Partner with the chamber/ merchant association/ nonprofit that gets what you do and can help you accomplish your goal. We hope you’ll […]


“Take ownership of your finances. You’ll be glad you did.” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Capital Access Group

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Capital Access Group. What is your company’s mission? We power growing small businesses through commercial real estate financing. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Capital Access Group is deeply involved in supporting the San Francisco Bay Area small business community through sponsorships, workshops, and mentoring services with a variety of economic development organizations. We partner with the NorCal Small Business Development Center, NAWBO, and the Golden Gate Business Association to provide lending seminars to teach small business owners about the advantages of owning a building for their business. We support the Napa Valley College Youth Entrepreneurship Program’s (YEP) annual business plan competition. […]


“Creating a World without Waste” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Recology

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Recology. What is your company’s mission? Recology is San Francisco’s recycling, compost, and landfill collector; our mission is to create a world without waste. We pride ourselves on customer service, environment-focused practices, innovative processing techniques, educational outreach, community involvement, and a focus on protecting people and planet by reducing material sent to the landfill. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Recology partners with business organizations throughout San Francisco, including the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations, Potrero Hill Dog Patch Merchant Association, the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, the South of Market Business Association, the South Beach Mission Bay Business […]


“We Strive to Help Small Businesses Achieve Greatness” #SFSBW2016 Interview: U.S. Bank

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from U.S. Bank. What is your company’s mission? U.S. Bank’s purpose statement: We invest our hearts and minds to power human potential. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Our goal is provide a better choice for every financial need that our clients may have, from business banking to home mortgage and investments to name a few. We are involved with many organizations that support small business in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including Opportunity Fund, Working Solutions, SF Made, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, Centro Community Partners.  And we are one of the leading SBA lenders in the […]


“Reduce both your environmental impact and your bottom line” #SFSBW2016 Interview: San Francisco Green Business Program

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from the San Francisco Green Business Program. What is your company’s mission? Our mission is to help small to medium sized businesses reduce their environmental impact and their bottom line. We then publicly recognize them for their green efforts to help customers shop in keeping with their values. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? We help small businesses in many ways, from free environmental consulting to connecting them with City services, resources and rebates. SF Green Business recognition comes with a certificate signed by the Mayor, use of our program logo and stickers showing they are an SF Green Business, online directory listings, […]


“Be Open To Change” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Staffly

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Staffly. What is your company’s mission? Staffly is a new staffing service that is 100% focused on Retail Staffing. As your retail staffing experts, we focus on recruiting, screening, and hiring great people and matching them to your store. It’s all we do—so you don’t have to. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? In the last 6-months since starting Staffly, we’ve had the opportunity to work with over 120 San Francisco Retailers.  We learned that independent retailers are struggling to attract and retain qualified staff for their stores. Staffly solves this by employing over 450 vetted and qualified retail workers who are […]


Make The Most Out Of #SFSBW2016

Sometimes the best things in life are the unexpected. There are many positive outcomes from participating in San Francisco Small Business Week, but the best are the unplanned moments of inspiration. It may just be the spark that you needed to challenge yourself, try something new, or reaffirm that you are on your path to success. Come and get inspired next week! We pulled some quotes from just a few of the organizations who will be with us next week. Come meet these resources at San Francisco Small Business Week! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to get connected with the city organizations and small business resources that are dedicated to your success. US Small Business Administration (Read Interview) “My best advice is to get advice. Take advantage of the broad network […]


“Continuity Support is essential for SF Small Businesses” #SFSBW2016 Interview: USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center. What is your organization’s mission? The University of San Francisco’s Gellert Family Business Resource Center annually recognizes two family-owned businesses, providing them with support and resources to strengthen various aspects of their operations. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? The USF Gellert Family Business Center and USF students actively engaged in education and advocacy in connection with the November 2015 passage of Proposition J. This resulted in providing funding for legacy businesses to draw upon for various business enhancements including building acquisition. The USF Gellert Center has just announced its […]


“Small Businesses Are the Heroes of Our Communities” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Visa

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Janet Zablock with Visa. What is your company’s mission? Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Visa works to bring small businesses access to solutions to manage their cash flow. Our business debit and credit solutions; inclusive of reporting […]


“We are committed to helping small business owners be positioned for success” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Bank of America

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Emily Shanks, Small Business Western Regional Executive at Bank of America at Bank of America. What is your company’s mission? To simplify banking and make financial lives better. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? With more than three million small business clients, we provide personalized expertise and resources to help small business owners grow and expand their businesses.   We do this through a comprehensive network of small business bankers, client managers and phone, video and chat specialists who provide banking, credit and cash management solutions to meet the unique, and long-term needs of small businesses. We take the time to learn about […]


“San Francisco truly supports small business” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Office of Small Business

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from the Office of Small Business. What is your organizations mission? The Office of Small Business along with the San Francisco Business Portal function as the City’s central point of information to assist small businesses by providing direct services through customized one-on-one assistance, collaborations with other City agencies and referrals to various small business resources to help San Francisco businesses succeed and flourish. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Office of Small Business in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the Department of Technology launched The San Francisco Business Portal, […]


Eat, Drink and Connect at Flavors of San Francisco!

Join us Monday, May 23rd, from 5:30pm – 8:30pm as we kick-off a week dedicated to San Francisco’s small businesses. Flavors of SF is the largest small business networking event of the year. Meet and mingle with more than 1,200 small business owners and community leaders. Connect with 34 Small Busines Resources, 10 Government Resources and 28 Sponsors. And savor and sample food, wine and beer from 37 outstanding local restaurants, catering companies and bars. Located in the City View Room at the Metreon, come connect with the San Francisco Small Business Community, Small Business Resources, Government Resources, and #SFSBW2016 Sponsors that are here to help you succeed! We look forward to Celebrating Small Business with you and helping you Tap into the Opportunity! Check out the list of restaurants, […]


“We Provide Instant Decisions For Your Business” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Kabbage Inc.

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Kabbage. What is your company’s mission? Through its data and technology platform, Kabbage Inc. provides fully automated funding to small businesses. Customers apply online in minutes to connect existing business information generated through accounting data, online sales, shipping and dozens of other sources. Kabbage provides an instant decision and gives qualified small businesses ongoing access to lines of credit up to $100,000. How does your organization support and engage the small business community? Kabbage is very active in the small business community. We work with various organizations to host and sponsor events that educate small businesses on financing options in addition to other resources such as marketing. […]


“We Can’t Over-Emphasize the Value of Mentorship” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Pacific Community Ventures

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resource partners to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Pacific Community Ventures. What is your organization’s mission? Pacific Community Ventures is a nonprofit social enterprise that engages small businesses, investors and policymakers to build an economy that works for everyone. What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? In 2015, we provided 237 small businesses with access to capital and pro bono mentorship. Companies working with us had 14% job growth — surpassing national (2%) and state (3%) rates — and 64% of those jobs went to workers living in low- or moderate-income communities. We also lent $943,000 to small business that couldn’t access the traditional […]


“The Chamber is a one-stop shop for my small business needs”. #SFSBW2016 Interview: San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. What is your organizations mission? The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce attracts, supports and grows business through advocacy, economic development, and business development. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? The San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations and San Francisco Chamber of Commerce recently entered into a partnership providing Chamber memberships to all Council of District Merchant Associations members. The goal of the partnership is to expand the Chamber’s footprint into the various merchant corridors and offer Chamber memberships to a diverse representation of small businesses located across San Francisco. […]


“Consumers Are More Connected Than Ever” #SFSBW2016 Interview: YP

#SFSBW2016 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Matt Condensa, Executive Market Manager at YP. What is your company’s mission? YP is a leading local marketing solutions provider, dedicated to helping local businesses and communities grow. With nearly 70 million users across YP properties, we help connect local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device or medium they use. We’re the #2 local search destination in the US, delivering an audience that’s 20 percent more likely to follow through with a purchase. Our marketing solutions are backed by more than 4,000 local media consultants and customer service professionals in local cities across the country. How does your organization support and engage the small […]


“Renaissance’s Business Planning class is frequently called the mini-MBA” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. What is your organizations mission? Renaissance provides the intensive training, access to resources, networks and ongoing support all entrepreneurs need to succeed. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? In 2015 alone Renaissance has helped over 650 entrepreneurs to start and grow their own thriving businesses. 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? Renaissance provides intensive 4 – 12 week training classes and workshops, business incubation, individual consulting, networking, access to business capital and […]


Get Smarter at the San Francisco Small Business Week!

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free advice! San Francisco hosts a wealth of resources and organizations that offer free services to help you achieve your vision and increase your odds of long-term business success. San Francisco Small Business Week is THE opportunity to connect with business resources, community leaders, and attend free workshops. Stand with city organizations and small business resources dedicated to your success! Attend the Small Business Conference: 43 Free Cutting Edge Workshops Join this free event with 43 workshops on topics that will help you build and grow your business. Don’t see a topic you’re interested in, let us know and we’ll try to book it for next year! And a special thank you to all of […]


“Building Better Neighborhoods One Business at a Time” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Urban Solutions

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Urban Solutions. What is your organizations mission? Our mission is to strengthen underserved neighborhoods by supporting small businesses, job creation, diversity and sustainability. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Over 20 years, Urban Solutions has built a reputation for being a leader in the economic revitalization of two underserved San Francisco neighborhoods, South of Market and the Western Addition, working in partnership with the City, corporate supporters like the Bank of America Foundation, community leaders, and the neighborhood small business community. In total, we have assisted more than 6,000 small business clients. We have helped small […]


“Do not be afraid to ask for and accept help and support” #SFSBW2016 Interview: Main Street Launch

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance) What is your organizations mission? Our mission is to create economic opportunity by empowering entrepreneurs with capital, education, and relationships that allow them to flourish, create jobs, and stimulate economic development in low-to-moderate income communities. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? Since 1979, Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance), has provided capital, education, and relationships to aspiring and existing small business owners. In the last five years, we have provided 325 companies with over $27 million in loan capital. These companies have created and sustained over […]


Making Entrepreneurial Dreams a Reality #SFSBW2016 Interview: Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Christopher Gil, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). What is your organizations mission? Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? MEDA worked with the 36 community-serving businesses displaced by the fire at Mission and 22nd streets Jan. 28, 2015. Also, MEDA’s community lending arm – Adelante Fund – is a vehicle for MEDA to provide vital capital and lending options to […]


Get ready for #SFSBW by celebrating National Small Business Week! May 1-7 #DreamSmallBiz

Every year, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. While San Francisco Small Business Week falls unders the National Small Business Week umbrella, it is held a few weeks after. So, check out everything happening this week for National Small Business Week nationally and in Oakland and San Jose (May 1-7). And then get ready for the largest Small Business Week celebration in the country happening in San Francisco (May 21-28) in just a few weeks! National Small Business Week (May […]


“My best advice is get advice.” #SFSBW2016 Interview: U.S. Small Business Administration

#SFSBW2016 asked our business resources to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Mark Quinn, District Director, US Small Business Administration in San Francisco What is your organizations mission? The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.   What are your organizations recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community? The SBA has many local accomplishments. Over 120 banks, credit unions and community lenders participated in various SBA loan programs. Annually, the San Francisco District Office cohosts […]


Tap Into SF Small Business Week & Register Today!

Once again the city by the Bay will host the largest Small Business Week celebration in 2016. We are excited to open registration for the 12th Annual San Francisco Small Business Week! This event will connect you with the larger small business community and organizations dedicated to your success. Join with us, dozens of city organizations and small business resources that are dedicated to your success. Stand with our chambers, merchant associations, and engage the small business development organizations and city, state and federal agencies that want to help you. They share knowledge, provide support and help small businesses learn the ropes and grow into successful thriving members of the San Francisco community. These resources are available year round, and you can meet them all in person during San Francisco […]


Announcing the 2016 Small Business Conference workshop schedule!

San Francisco Small Business Week (SFSBW) is proud to support and honor small businesses. And one of the most exciting parts of this collaborative partnership with the city’s small business community is the Small Business Conference and Expo. At this free conference on May 26th at San Francisco Community College’s North Beach/Chinatown Campus there will be more than 40 workshops for small business owners covering a range of topics including business, finance, individual development, marketing and procurement. And today we are excited to announce the list of including conference workshops for 2016! Please note that registration will open April 25th. There is limited seating so advance registration is recommended. Please see our events page for the list of workshops available to help you get started, get bigger and tap into […]


San Francisco Small Business Week 2016: May 21-28, 2016

We’re very excited to announce the dates of San Francisco Small Business Week 2016 will happen the week of May 21-28, 2016. We’re already deep in the planning for Flavors of San Francisco on Monday, May 23, 2016 and the Small Business Conference on Thursday, May 26, 2016. More events and information will be announced in the coming months. Please direct all inquires about participation or other information to info@sfsmallbusinessweek.com.


Highlights from the #SFSBW2015 blog

Many thanks to the small business owners, nonprofit organizations, and sponsors who contributed to the #SFSBW2015 blog. Here’s our highlight reel with some of the gems from our 2015 interviews. What is it about running a small business brings you joy and satisfaction?             “I love speaking to my customers and meeting them in person. It’s really great for me to see total strangers who know my story, support my brand, and volunteer as brand ambassadors because of their love for our products. We have customers from the very beginning who have seen Bread SRSLY through growth spurts and production changes – being able to retain them through thick and thin is the biggest compliment I could want.” – Sadie Scheffer, Owner, Bread SRSLY. “At a larger firm, tasks are more […]


ProLocal and the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Invite You to Go Into The ‘Hoods…

Small Business Week 2015 may be over, but that doesn’t mean the champions are done celebrating. This year we added a new event to the week’s official line up. The Champions Mixer, co-hosted by SFEDA, SFCDMA, and ProLocal, took center stage as Thursday’s main event. The night was a celebration of small business and the Champions who support their success. Guests mingled with merchant associations, chambers, small business development organizations and got the very first glimpse of San Francisco’s first citywide mobile tour app, exclusively featuring local businesses from our local ‘hoods. Into the ‘Hoods aims to give tourists the content that they want: A true local’s experience for shopping, dining, and exploring San Francisco in neighborhoods that are off the typical tourist’s beaten path. Consisting of a printed map and […]


“Be open to change and seek advice.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Clairesquares

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Claire Keane, Owner, Clairesquares. Tell us about your business in one sentence. We are a San Francisco based confectionary company making artisan Irish sweet treats. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  More and more of our customers are trying to be educated about the ingredients in the food they eat. Whether it’s because of health concerns (i.e. gluten intolerance) or lifestyle choice (i.e. veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, etc), most people seek transparency when reading labels and ask questions about our ingredient profiles regularly. What […]


“Bridging the Small Business Tech Divide, and much more!” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Urban Solutions

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Steve McCoy-Thompson, Executive Director, Urban Solutions. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. For over 20 years, Urban Solutions has developed small businesses and healthy neighborhoods with a comprehensive set of leasing support, loan packaging and small business training and mentoring programs. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? We are working on several fronts. With licensed real estate brokers, we help entrepreneurs negotiate fair leases and move into challenging neighborhoods to help stabilize those communities. This is critical when rents are rising everywhere. We help with access to capital […]


Highlights from the #SFSBW2015 blog

Many thanks to the small business owners, nonprofit organizations, and sponsors who contributed to the #SFSBW2015 blog. Here’s our highlight reel with some of the gems from our 2015 interviews. What is it about running a small business brings you joy and satisfaction?             “I love speaking to my customers and meeting them in person. It’s really great for me to see total strangers who know my story, support my brand, and volunteer as brand ambassadors because of their love for our products. We have customers from the very beginning who have seen Bread SRSLY through growth spurts and production changes – being able to retain them through thick and thin is the biggest compliment I could want.” – Sadie Scheffer, Owner, Bread SRSLY. “At a larger firm, tasks are more […]


Technology is an engine for business growth. #SFSBW2015 Interview with Comcast Business

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we talk to Frank Ortiz, Director Small Business Sales, Comcast Business. What is your company’s mission? Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, TV and Voice solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business with gigabit speeds and the most advanced communications technologies. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your company changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? If so, how? Yes, Comcast Business is committed to delivering on the promise of providing customers the most reliable data, voice, and TV services that consistently exceed expectations. Part of this process involves identifying the needs of our customers and […]


Being green is good for the bottom line. #SFSBW2015 Interview with SF Green Business Program

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Keith Dews, Green Business Aide, San Francisco Green Business Program. What is your organization’s mission? Our mission is to help San Francisco businesses adopt environmental practices that are sustainable as well as profitable. We achieve our mission by setting high environmental criteria, providing technical assistance, and publicly recognizing and promoting Green Businesses. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your organization changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? The opportunity to conduct business in an environmentally friendly way is front and center in today’s changing marketplace. Businesses choose to be green to address customer expectations, save money, and […]


“Creating new communications experiences.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Ooma

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Jim Gustke, VP of Marketing, Ooma. What is your company’s mission? Creating new communications experiences. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your company changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? More companies require employees to work outside the traditional office- and that requires telecommuting, staying connected while offsite, or catching up from home in the evenings.   Business tools and technologies have made that easier, but small businesses often get the short end of the stick with limited options that don’t offer the flexibility found in expensive enterprise solutions. We’ve built Ooma Office to help small businesses run more efficiently and stay connected from anywhere with enterprise level calling features available at a price small business can afford. What is your company […]


“Strength in numbers!” #SFSBW2015 Interview with the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Ben Bleiman, Founder, Co-Chair, SF Bar Owner Alliance. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. SF Bar Owner Alliance is a group of bar owners in San Francisco who formed a grassroots community to assist one another. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? We share information on everything from produce vendors to lease negotiations to City fees. What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners who are starting ou t today? What are you doing to bridge the gap between old and […]


“We work with City Hall to #keepsfweird.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with CMAC, the California Music and Culture Association

to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Ben Bleiman, Co-Chair, CMAC. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. CMAC is the trade group to serve nightlife in SF including bars, clubs, music venues and festivals. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? CMAC represents the interests of nightlife providers in SF. Our members include bars, promoters, clubs, music venues and festivals in our fair city. Our members have access to reduced group insurance rates, free legal advice, political power when necessary, reduced cost website services, and a wealth of knowledge to navigating doing business in SF. When not working with our members, we work with City Hall to #keepsfweird and #savesfnightlife […]


Trusted Advisors are Crucial to Entrepreneurs: #SFSBW2015 Interview: Emily Shanks, Bank of America

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we talk to Emily Shanks, Region Executive for the Small Business Banking, Bank of America. Tell me about your organization/role. My title is Small Business Banking Regional Executive for Bank of America.  I lead a team of more than 200 Small Business Banking Managers and Small Business Bankers who are focused on the needs of our small business customers.  My territory includes California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? I’ve been with Bank of America for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen a lot of innovation and growth […]


Providing accurate information and a delightful experience: #SFSBW2015 Interview with San Francisco Business Portal

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Jane Gong, Program Director of the San Francisco Business Portal. Tell us about your organization in one sentence.  The San Francisco Small Business Portal helps business owners easily navigate the steps to start, manage, and grow a business, quickly learn what it takes to be compliant, and obtain resources along the way. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace?  Basically, we’re making the process of obtaining permits and following regulations easier, so you can get back to business. For years, prospective business owners have navigated San Francisco’s complex permitting process by searching through various websites […]


Promoting and encouraging people to shop local. #SFSBW2015 Interview with San Francisco Council of District Merchants

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Henry Karnilowicz, President, San Francisco Council of District Merchants. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. In 1953 there was only the Chamber of Commerce which did not include all the merchants in the city thus a group of merchants, under the leadership of Walter Jebbe, got together and formed the Council of District Merchants Associations. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? Promoting and encouraging people to shop local. What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners who are starting out today? […]


Making the Outer Sunset a destination: #SFSBW2015 Interview with Andytown Coffee Roasters

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Lauren Crabbe, Owner/Founder, Andytown Coffee Roasters. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Andytown Coffee Roasters was founded to bring specialty coffee roasting to the Outer Sunset in San Francisco. Our goal is to make specialty coffee a welcoming, comfortable and extraordinary experience. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  We have only been open for one year, but we have seen our customer base grow from folks who work and live in our neighborhood to people who seek out the Outer Sunset […]


Fueling the success of small business: #SFSBW2015 Interview with TMC Financing

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Rich Grant, Executive Vice President of TMC Financing. What is your company’s mission? We exist to better our communities by fueling the success of small business, like you. We do this by providing U.S. Small Business Administration commercial real estate financing to secure the long-term success of your business – when you succeed, we succeed. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your company changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? In our 30+ years, TMC Financing has witnessed a lot of economic cycles. With SBA lending, when the economy is expanding there are more competing sources of […]


“Small business is the backbone of our economy.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with the Office of Small Business

“Don’t wait until it’s too late. Seek assistance early on. We are here to help you, and there is likely a city resource available to assist with your need.”


“You learn something from everyone you encounter.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Potluck Consulting

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Rose Souders, CEO, Potluck Consulting. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Potluck Consulting is a Bay Area online marketing company that specializes in strategy and implementation for e-mail marketing, content development (blogging), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  As the online world evolves, so does our marketing needs. A visual content strategy has become the number one concern among many of my clients. There seems to be less of a concern about driving traffic […]


“You have to evolve and anticipate change.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with SF Parking

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Patricia Rodriguez, Managing Member, SF Parking. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Parking management. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  The demographics are heading toward a younger very educated customer base. What specific business strategies have you implemented to build loyalty and enhance your ability to serve the newer generation of customers? My business borders on a commodity in SF, but definitely making payment or access via the internet is where the business is heading. What marketing tactics and strategies have […]


“I call the shots.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Heklina.

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Heklina, Owner of Oasis. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Nightclub. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  Having just started my business this year, it’s hard to tell about any changes, but I can say that the people coming to my club are a cross-section of old and new San Francisco, young and old, straight and gay. What specific business strategies have you implemented to build loyalty and enhance your ability to serve the newer generation of customers? My business strategy […]


“Speed is of the essence in today’s market.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Capital Access Group

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Claudia Cohen, Senior Vice President, Capital Access Group. What is your company’s mission? Our mission to help small businesses grow by giving them the opportunity to secure financing to own their own real estate through the SBA’s 504 commercial loan program, which provides capital for the purchase, renovation, or construction of commercial real estate and heavy equipment. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your company changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? Speed is of the essence in today’s market. Capital Access is consistently recognized as the fastest SBA 504 lender for turnaround time on loan approvals […]


“Get Help! When businesses get help, their success rate is 80%.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with CAMEO

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Claudia Viek, CEO, CAMEO – California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. CAMEO is the statewide network of 85 organizations that provide business assistance and loans to 20,000 very small and start-up businesses in diverse communities. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? CAMEO advocates on behalf of the smallest businesses (fewer than five employees) and the self-employed to make sure they have the capital and training resources that they need. Microentrepreneurs that have gone through business training programs and received business assistance and […]


Manufacturing is critical to San Francisco’s economic vibrancy: #SFSBW2015 Interview with SFMade

#SFSBW2015 asked the nonprofit organizations that support small businesses throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help businesses flourish in today’s marketplace. Today we hear from Janet Lees, Senior Director, SFMade. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. SFMade supports and promotes over 550 SFMade member companies, all manufacturing their products within the San Francisco City limits. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? At the highest level, SFMade’s programs and services are designed to help manufacturing businesses start, grow, and stay in San Francisco. What we are finding particularly challenging in our sector right now are rising real estate prices, filling job vacancies with appropriately skilled workers, and access to new market channels. On the […]


“Creating a digital footprint is critical but complicated.” #SFSBW Interview with YP

#SFSBW2015 asked our sponsors to share insights, best practices, and examples of how they help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Matt Crowley, Senior Vice President, Sales, YP. What is your company’s mission? YP is a leading local marketing solutions provider, dedicated to helping local businesses and communities grow. With more than 70 million users across YP properties, we help connect local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device or medium they use. Our marketing solutions are backed by more than 4,000 local media consultants and customer service professionals in local cities across the U.S. Today’s hyper-competitive marketplace is presenting new challenges and opportunities to many businesses. Has your company changed its approach to doing business to address the changing market? Consumers are more connected than […]


“Fulfilling our vision one bite at a time.” Interview with Ladera Granola CEO, Brian Tetrud

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Brian Tetrud, Owner, Ladera Granola. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Ladera granola is a natural food manufacturer dedicated to healthy and delicious food. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  Our customer base in San Francisco is growing as the population becomes more focused on quality. Our Granola is typically more nutritious than the traditional ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. San Franciscans are increasingly more aware of the importance of healthy active lifestyles and are seeking our products to fuel their active lives […]


“Family businesses drive the economy.” #SFSBW2015 Interview: USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Monika Hudson, Assistant Professor and Director of the University of San Francisco’s Gellert Family Business Resource Center. Tell us about your organization in one sentence. We provide family-owned businesses with access to networking, create an open exchange of strategic and practical family business information and advance the field of family business research, education, and scholarship. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? The University of San Francisco’s Gellert Family Business Resource Center annually recognizes two family-owned businesses, providing them with support and resources to strengthen various aspects of their operations. The Center then […]


“One lesson: narrow your target market” Interview with Robert Friedman, Owner, Fearless Branding

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Robert Friedman, Owner, Fearless Branding. Tell us about your business in one sentence. Driving sales for B2B service firms through brand strategy, market research and websites. San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base?  Doing an excellent job in your field, and “getting out there” are no longer enough to succeed.  Buyers of B2B services have many choices for every purchase decision.  It’s incumbent on every professional to define their company’s value, and their own value, in unique ways – to define a differentiated claim of expertise. […]


“The rewards are gigantic!” #SFSBW2015 Interview: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

#SFSBW2015 asked the nonprofit organizations that support small businesses throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help businesses flourish in today’s marketplace. Today we hear from Sharon Miller, CEO, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center Tell us about your organization in one sentence. Renaissance provides entrepreneurship training classes and support services to help San Franciscans start and grow thriving businesses. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? Renaissance provides small business owners with comprehensive training, access to capital, business incubation and individual consulting to support them in preparing for, launching and growing their own businesses. We also provide opportunities for emerging business owners to learn first-hand from established businesses and for all business owners to build critical networks with like-minded […]


“We support all business, big and small.” #SFSBW Interview with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and some of the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small businesses flourish in today’s marketplace. Today we hear from Taryn Taddeo, Director, Small Business & Strategic Partnerships, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Tell us about your organization. A private nonprofit organization, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is our city’s largest and most vibrant business network. What is the Chamber doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? We just launched Small Business University, a program dedicated to helping small businesses thrive in San Francisco. The programs hosts events and workshops that will provide small business owners with the resources and information they need to succeed in a changing, dynamic marketplace. We also […]


“Promoting a vibrant community and celebrating our culture.” #SFSBW2015 Interview: Mission Bernal Merchant Association

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and some of the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small businesses flourish in today’s marketplace. Today we hear from Erin Archuleta, President of the Mission Bernal Merchant’s Association. Tell us about your organization. We are an emerging merchants’ association for business owners on the Mission Street Corridor between Cesar Chavez and Randall Streets, promoting a vibrant community and celebrating our culture. What is your organization doing to help small business owners navigate today’s increasingly competitive marketplace? We are liaising with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to provide workshops for merchants to have access to city services and agencies and to support whatever needs so many of our Mom and Pop […]