Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA): Success is in Your Hands.
#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.
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 21 loans, totaling $656,000 in capital for small businesses who could not access capital at traditional lenders. Of those 21 loans, 76 percent were immigrant-owned ventures.
Over 100,000 square feet of commercial space has been preserved or produced for Mission-based nonprofits, small businesses and arts institutions. We have housed at least 18 small businesses.
MEDA provides customized technical assistance to small businesses seeking new opportunities. We help microentrepreneurs write their business plan and determine financial projections for their new venture. In 2015, we launched our own business-loan program, Adelante Fund, with an accessible product for business owners looking to start or expand business.
As part of MEDA’s model, our business services include assistance in writing a business and marketing plan. We help businesses with loan packages that later may be submitted to MEDA’s loan program, Adelante Fund. MEDA is offering the opportunity to some business owners to apply for a commercial space through the City’s Small Sites Program, which allows our nonprofit to buy properties.
MEDA provides culturally relevant assistance to navigate the system. MEDA provides business services in Spanish, with more than 70 percent of microentrepreneurs receiving our services being Spanish speakers (we also provide business services to English speakers.) Our services include assisting business owners to apply for business loans through our Adelante Fund and to access to commercial spaces in the Mission District through our Small Sites Program, which is part of MEDA’s Community Real Estate program.
Success is in your hands. Take advantage of resources available. Learn something new every day. You can achieve your goals, as long as you have the passion, motivation and support.
D’Maize Restaurant is a local business started in San Francisco in 2013. The owners, Luis Estrada and Zenaida Merlin, have received business services from MEDA’s business-development program since the budding entrepreneurs were in the planning phase. With our assistance, the couple launched D’Maize catering service, while continuing to receive business services from our program. In addition, Luis and Zenaida also accessed a business loan in 2016 from MEDA’s loan program, Adelante Fund, to open their first brick-and-mortar restaurant, D’Maize Restaurant located on the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. Their business growth now includes two food trucks and D’Maize Café, the latter located at San Francisco City College’s main campus. D’Maize has created15, employing local residents. The couple continues to receive support from MEDA and other local partners.