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“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

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 by passing pro-nightlife legislation and streamlining difficult bureaucratic processes that impinge our members’ ability to do business here.

What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners who are starting out today? What are you doing to bridge the gap between old and new businesses?

We are ahead of the curve on the latest trends in nightlife. We always come to any of our members’ aide to help them with best practices, modernization of their business model, or just to help them brainstorm on how to succeed in the economy of 2015.

Please describe one of your organization’s innovations. How has this enhanced way you reach and serve your clients or members?

We are currently in the process of totally overhauling our own social media strategy, but once we do, we will be providing best practices to all of our members on how to do the same themselves with a minimum of cost.

What is one lesson you would like to share with small business owners—especially those who are struggling to change the way they do business in the current climate?

It is not only possible to be successful and responsible, but necessary for survival in this new economy. Small businesses can no longer exist in a vacuum. They must be a positive part of their community, and they must work with local government, police and other agencies to promote responsible behavior.

What is the most important belief or principle that guides your organization?

Business and positive change are not mutually exclusive. In fact, sustainable business practices are the most effective driver of positive social, community, and environmental change!