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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 sfsbdc team

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 developed 98 Scopes of Work (102%). Additionally, the SFSBDC helped 13 small business owners access $2,849,000.00 (237%) in loans and 26 small businesses increase sales by $6,885,502.

 

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

The San Francisco SBDC has recently created and begun offering the Social Media Series to small business owners and entrepreneurs at no-cost. This five-class series offers small business owners an introduction to social media, digital and online marketing techniques for their business.

 

San Francisco has been experiencing quite the transformation. What is the SFSBDC doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners? What resources do you offer to entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started?

A unique type of circumstance arose that has been affecting many of the businesses in San Francisco. As a result of the lengthy construction projects taking place in or near commercial corridors, many of San Francisco’s small businesses have felt increased difficulty in continuing business as usual. Primarily, these small businesses have seen the biggest impact from these construction projects in a form of decreased sales and lower foot traffic. Finding a new location at a rate comparable to their existing location (with the same amenities) is extremely difficult. The SFSBDC has been working closely with partner organizations in the Construction Mitigation Project to help small business owners overcome these challenges.

 

San Francisco is known for its diverse culture. How does the SFSBDC ensure that the small businesses that make this city unique are able to stay in San Francisco?

The San Francisco SBDC offers classes, workshops and business advising in Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Mandarin. The SFSBDC also offers marketing materials and information in Chinese and Spanish translation, as well as offering a website that has the ability to translate to one of 10+ languages just by the press of the button. In 2017, approximately 64% of clients identified as minority.

 

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

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. – Steve Jobs

 

The SFSBDC in Action

IXIA is a floral operation and design shop established in 1985, dedicated to meeting the needs and demands for quality, high-end floral and foliage products. IXIA offers a unique beautiful blend of nature’s flowers, twigs and ferns for window displays, delivery and purchase. Located at 2331 Market Street, San Francisco, CA in the heart of The Castro, IXIA is well positioned to continue its distinctive, world-renowned design perspective and create avenues for increased sales and productivity.

Cheri Mims had come to the San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SFSBDC) in need of assistance purchasing IXIA from its previous owner. In parallel to purchasing the business, Cheri also found difficulties in leasing the location of the business, where she was then connected with the Working Solutions Business Retention Team.

In order to assure a smooth transition in ownership and a successful business purchase, Cheri and SFSBDC Business Advisor, Angelique Gosse developed a clear, full-length business plan, created financial projections and went through the loan application process from start to finish. Cheri also took advantage of the free business training events and workshops the SFSBDC has to offer on the topics of Human Resource Management and Financial Analysis. “The San Francisco SBDC was very helpful in making a clear path in purchasing IXIA. I had a lot of ideas and they were able to help me form a path for the business, especially with financials. The SFSBDC made me feel like everything was possible.”, says Cheri.

After securing a loan, Working Solutions Real Estate Officer, Iris Lee spoke with the landlord to describe and explain the various programs and organizations supporting Cheri and her process in obtaining a loan from a community lender to continue the business of IXIA. Once he understood the community and support behind Cheri he was open to receiving a proposal and working towards an agreement with Iris, while keeping the rent the same rather than increasing it up to market value.

Cheri explained that, “Working with Iris Lee was a godsend. In the last hours of the acquisition, Iris guided me through the process of fine tuning my commercial lease and was an amazing liaison between myself and the landlord. I owe a lot of the last half of the experience to Iris’ expertise and patience-HIGHLY recommend!”

In working with the San Francisco Small Business Development Center and Working Solutions, Cheri was able to successfully secure a lease, access a $90,000 loan to purchase her business and retain four jobs of long-time San Francisco citizens. IXIA is now able to continue its service of over 25-years in providing quality, high-end floral and foliage products within The Castro.

 

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