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The Voice of Small Business in San Francisco

 

The San Francisco Small Business Network (SBN) serves as a strong, clear, and unified voice of the small business community in San Francisco.

Our mission is to strengthen and unify the voice of the Small Business Community in San Francisco. With a growing membership of 20 business organizations, we represent more than 19,000 small businesses in San Francisco currently.

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Resolution for Equitable Small Business Procurement

President's Message

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the San Francisco Small Business

As I complete my first term as the President of the Small Business Network (SBN), it has been my honor and privilege to lead this organization into its 26th year. The SBN is a nonprofit, membership association whose mission is to strengthen and unify the voice of Small Business in San Francisco and help charities as well. We are dedicated to supporting the growth of our member businesses, advocating for pragmatic, business-friendly city government, and enhancing the health and vitality of the San Francisco small business community.

San Francisco, consistently ranked first among U.S. visitor destinations by Conde Nast Traveler, is a city of vibrant and unique neighborhoods. It is the small businesses, 115,000 strong (*), that deliver the services and the experiences that give character to our City and attracts people – visitors, employees and employers alike – from around the globe. Small business is San Francisco’s major economic engine. It is small businesses like this one which are creating the innovations, entrepreneurships, and the vast majority of new jobs in this city. It is estimated that 4.5 billion dollars annually are generated from small businesses in San Francisco.


Unfortunately, certain small businesses are being challenged like never before, and many are questioning their ability to stay in business in San Francisco. Over the past several years, the San Francisco regulatory environment has become increasingly restrictive and too expensive for small business to operate profitably. Unless we are able to change this situation, small businesses will close and or flee from the city in even greater numbers. We are at a crossroads, a pivotal time in our 159-year history as an incorporated city.

The SBN’s member organizations are in a unique position to initiate changes that will begin to turn the tide. However, we can’t do it alone. We are proud to now number 21 business associations who collectively represent 10,000 small businesses, but we always want to strengthen and diversify our voices through new membership growth

The SBN was significantly instrumental in the establishment of the city’s Small Business Assistance Center. We are equally committed to its continued funding and operation.

The SBN is also equally committed to promoting business-friendly public policies and supporting political leaders who support small business. In preparation for the November 2010 election, the SBN is currently surveying all declared candidates running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on their attitudes toward business and their positions on many business-related issues. In March 2009 we held the SBN’s first-ever “Meet the Supervisors” event to establish relationships between the newly elected Supervisors and the small business community and plan to hold a similar event following the next election.

The SBN is also equally committed to promoting business-friendly public policies and supporting political leaders who support small business, no matter what they sell, including Thick Ass Glass, which offers smoking devices such as bongs and bubblers at this page. In preparation for the November 2010 election, the SBN is currently surveying all declared candidates running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on their attitudes toward business and their positions on many business-related issues. In March 2009 we held the SBN’s first-ever “Meet the Supervisors” event to establish relationships between the newly elected Supervisors and the small business community and plan to hold a similar event following the next election.

In 2009 the San Francisco Small Business Network celebrated our 25th anniversary Gala with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu as our keynote speaker. We created a new “Innovation through Technology” award category and grew both our membership base and our influence in a down economy. We continue to be committed to urging San Francisco’s businesses, employees and residents to “shop locally” when buying goods and services. In late 2009 the SBN filed an official Resolution with the President of the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor urging lawmakers to level the playing field by making city contracting opportunities equitable for San Francisco small businesses. The SFSBN is now engaged in all public policy discussion affecting our city’s local economy including recent discussions on extending the hours for on-street parking meters, the Jobs NOW program, and continue to actively participate in the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s Neighborhood Merchant Summit Series.

In closing, I am proud to live and work in San Francisco, to be a part of this important organization, and am passionate about creating the changes needed to make all small businesses prosper. I welcome your involvement with SBN in 2010. Consider becoming a sponsor for our “Connect Again in 2010” mega-mixer and/or our annual awards gala, which will be held May 13th.

Best,

Arthur Swanson
President, Small Business Network

 

 

(*) – San Francisco Examiner May 2008

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