Mayor Lee Celebrates Success of Small Business Revolving Loan Fund

27 Small Businesses Succeed from Access to Financial and Support Resources, Remain Vital Part of the Economic Recovery; Kicking Off Small Business Week in SF

05/16/11— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the initial $680,000 set aside for lending through the City’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund is successfully financing 27 small businesses in San Francisco. In July 2009, the Revolving Loan Fund launched with the goal of creating jobs and assisting microenterprises access much needed capital to start and grow their businesses. Funded businesses represent San Francisco minority-owned, women-owned micro-entrepreneurs with their creative and dynamic startups and expansions generating more than 50 full-time jobs and significantly contributing to the revitalization and recovery of the local economy.

“The Revolving Loan Fund is a major step in easing the small business capital crisis and promoting the growth and development of small businesses,” said Mayor Lee. “As anticipated, there was a high demand for these loans and it did not take long for the funds to directly benefit small businesses and create jobs. The City is committed to identifying additional capital to keep the momentum of the program going in response to the enormous demand.”

“Successful economic development truly takes a team effort and the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund and Working Solutions are a great example,” said Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) Director Jennifer Matz. “When the Revolving Loan Fund launched, OEWD selected Working Solutions to administer the RLF. The program provided low-interest loan capital with a goal towards job creation, and Working Solutions with a history of serving businesses experiencing difficulty accessing traditional credit markets, was able to provide flexible underwriting and business coaching, advising, and mentoring to help businesses stabilize and grow. The result of the partnership is an amazing story where we have a great mix of expansions and startups, without a single default.” 

“The standard failure rate for most new businesses is 85%.  However, as a result of Working Solutions’ business coaching, advising, and mentoring, our clients experience an 85% survival rate,” said Working Solutions Executive Director Emily Gasner. “Bank financing remains difficult to obtain for many smaller businesses and startups, and this collaboration is one way we help local entrepreneurs succeed in a tough economy.  We applaud the city for going to such great lengths to help small businesses thrive.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony at Mission Cheese, a recent loan recipient and a gourmet cheese shop located in the Valencia Corridor was held today to highlight the program’s success. “Mission Cheese is a space where community can come to enjoy and celebrate the abundance of American artisan and farmstead cheese,” said Mission Cheese Owner Sarah Dvorak. “This project would not have been possible without $25,000 loan and assistance from Working Solutions and the Revolving Loan Fund.”

List of RLF recipients
The types of businesses in the Revolving Loan Fund portfolio include a wide variety of industries in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco such as handbag designers, clothing boutiques, hair and skin care salons, food manufacturers, and artisanal food cafes, to name a few.

Business Name

Business Description

Bubbles & Shampoo

Beauty Supply Shop

18 Rabbits

Granola Bars


Sewing Clips

Macha Café


Oasis Café


51st State

Gourmet Food Truck

Petit Collage, Inc.

Decorations for children’s rooms

Urban Bazaar


Sarah Becker Skincare


Seesaw LLC

Workshop for kids

Candystore Collective


The Library




CORE Foods

Specialty Food

The Pretty Pretty Collective

Hair salon

Twisterz Toys

Educational toys for children



Cake Coquette


Mission Cheese


Venga! Empanadas



Lotions and Aromatherapy

Safaara Tea

Herbal Tea

Animals Internal Medicine

Emergency Veterinary Clinic


















Mission Cheese is located at 736 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For more information, follow Sarah Dvorak’s blog,

Located in San Francisco, Working Solutions is a nonprofit small business lender committed to providing underserved micro-entrepreneurs with the access to capital and resources they need to successfully start or grow viable business.  Loan sizes range from $5,000 to $25,000 for startup and $5,000 to $50,000 for existing businesses in all nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.  Working Solutions offers Chinese and Spanish language capacity.  For more information, visit Working Solutions’ website at

Mayor Lee’s announcement today highlights the City’s investment in small businesses in San Francisco and helps kick-off San Francisco’s 7th Annual Small Business Week. The “Flavors of San Francisco” Small Business Week celebration, to be held on Monday night, will see 1,000 small business owners and community leaders come together to network and savor the unique “tastes” of San Francisco through local restaurants.

The San Francisco Small Business Week celebration is one of the largest celebrations throughout the country during National Small Business Month. Building on 2011’s theme of “Partnering for Prosperity,” San Francisco Small Business Week will honor and support San Francisco’s small businesses through a series of educational and networking events that inspire, educate and connect the business community.  More than 90% of all businesses in San Francisco are small businesses and they are the back bone of our economy, providing jobs, creating unique neighborhoods and strengthening our communities. San Francisco takes great pride in being home to more than 80,000 small and new startup businesses.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will honor and recognize exceptional small businesses during the Board of Supervisors meeting’s Small Business Honoree ceremony.

Small Business Week is presented by Wells Fargo and produced in partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Mayor’s Office, Small Business Commission, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, SFentrprenuer and the Golden Gate Business Association.

The following events are planned in celebration of San Francisco Small Business Week:
· On May 17, 2011, the City celebrates the impact of the LGBT business movement at the MEGA Make Contact LGBT Mixer, where attendees will mingle and meet members of the premier networking groups in the San Francisco Bay Area while sampling some of the City’s top food and wine;
· On May 18, 2011, small business owners and entrepreneurs will attend the Small Business Conference, a full day of free workshops and seminars designed specifically for their needs; and
· On May 21, 2011, the entire City takes to the streets during the Shop Your Neighborhood event to discover the unique local merchants that are a vital part of San Francisco’s economy.

For more information about San Francisco Small Business Week, go to: