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“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.

5.20 SF Green Business Program 2

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, an award plaque at our annual awards reception, and networking events throughout the year.

5.20 SF Green Business Program

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?
Once a business is a recognized SF Green Business, they are listed in two online directory listings on our SF website and the statewide CA Green Business Network. They can also use our program logo for marketing materials and place a sticker in their front window or on their front door. Our ongoing networking events are a great opportunity to network with other like-minded businesses in the City. We have also partnered with the City’s Local Business Enterprise Program, so qualifying SF Green Businesses are listed on their directory to help them get City contracts.

What are the trends you see when you think about the small business marketplace, and how will these trends shape the future of small business?
Current trends for small businesses show that those who consider and improve their social and environmental impact have a far-reaching and long lasting legacy, which will continue to shape the future of businesses to come. Mission-driven business will attract and retain better talent and customers will continue to seek them out in greater numbers.

Can you share one brief story about how your company is helping San Francisco businesses thrive?
A great example of a thriving SF Green Business is Cole’s Hardware, which has all of their locations certified. In addition to helping them reduce their environmental impact and increase safe and healthy work conditions, our program has helped Cole’s Hardware receive additional awards and accolades. In April they were visited by the U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, to debut the new Safer Choice label.

What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?
Whether you go for full recognition or not, take advantage of our free program to learn more about the resources available to your business that will help reduce both your environmental impact and your bottom line.

Follow the San Francisco Green Business Program
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