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“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 two 2016 awardees–Cha Cha Cha-Haight, a San Francisco tapas-and-sangria institution, and Mission mainstay Navarro Aerobics and Martial Arts Academy. In 2015, its awardees were Henry’s House of Coffee and Aunt Ann’s Staffing4.3

USF’s Gellert Family Business Center continues to provide technical assistance to local family businesses in the areas of conflict management and business continuity.

In collaboration with the Exit Planning Institute, the USF Gellert Center has completed a survey of 600 family business owners to determine their readiness for business transition.

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?
The USF Gellert Family Business Center provides information and referrals to family businesses seeking local technical assistance providers in the areas of marketing, supply chain, loan packaging, and general operations.

The Center annually completes an assessment of all business operations of its awardees–and then provides targeted services to support them in their ongoing business success.

The Center has now created business profiles of 16 businesses and is in the process of completing 6 more for use by the City of San Francisco’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office. These profiles can allow these businesses to heighten their marketing profile, further enhancing their revenue base.

San Francisco has been experiencing quite the transformation. What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners? What resources do you offer to entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started?
At a time of great transformation in the local economy, what the Gellert Center offers is continuity support that assists small businesses in continuing to exist—and thrive–within the City of San Francisco. We also help educate the next generation of family business leaders through our undergraduate and graduate business programs, emphasizing social entrepreneurship and leveraging innovation to give back to the community. Finally, in conjunction with our China Business Studies Initiative, the Center assists with the diffusion of Chinese-based small businesses into the San Francisco landscape.

San Francisco is known for its diverse culture. How does your organization ensure that the small businesses that make this city unique are able to stay in San Francisco?
The USF Gellert Center was actively involved with the passage of Proposition J, in collaboration with Supervisor Campos’s office and a range of local partners. Research completed by our students and provided to the City’s Small Business Commission also served to point out the significant rental increase discrepancies being experienced by legacy businesses along particular commercial corridors.

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?
Take advantage of the range of support resources provided within the City of San Francisco–including those provided by the USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center!

Local Businesses that have used USF Gellert Family Business Resource Center to tap into new opportunities and grow their businesses.
Currently, the Center has worked to help 16 local businesses spotlight their work through marketing profiles. That list of businesses includes (but is not limited to):
Trad’r Sams
Mr.Eckhard Barber and Beauty Shop
Roxie’s Food Center
White Horse Tavern
Golden Mirror Restaurant
Cliff’s Variety Store
Belmar Market
Fireside Camera
Navarro Aerobics and Martial Arts Academy

USF Gellert Family Business Center encourages other family-owned businesses in San Francisco to connect with us! Our website includes resources and upcoming events—see what we have to offer online and get to know us.