Take a stroll down vibrant Mission Street and you’ll see the lifeblood of San Francisco’s Mission District, with shops running the gamut from taquerias and discount clothing stores to haircutters and produce markets. These ventures are owned by hardworking community members — many Latinx immigrants building a generational asset for their families in their adopted homeland. Such culturally relevant businesses stand in stark contrast to chain stores, which is why Saturday, Nov. 30, is “Small Business Saturday.” This is the perfect day to show your support of the Mission’s numerous mom-and-pop enterprises after your Black Friday shopping spree the day before.
By the numbers
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S., comprising 49.2% of private sector employment and 64% of the net for new private sector jobs. These small businesses fuel the economic engine of the largest economy in the world.
Interestingly, Biz2Credit’s annual study showcased that average revenue for Latinx-owned businesses jumped 26% year over year, from $258,702 in 2016-17 to $327,189 in 2017-18. Food for thought: Twenty percent of these businesses are restaurants.
MEDA strengthening local businesses
MEDA has a multi-pronged strategy to strengthen small businesses along Mission Street and other commercials strips of the Mission District.
These strategies include:
- Technical Assistance (TA). MEDA works with many of the small businesses along Mission Street and other commercial corridors of the neighborhood, offering free TA to ensure these ventures not just survive, but thrive. Such comprehensive TA may include everything from commercial lease negotiation, the creation of a fleshed-out marketing plan and preparation to be ready to access business loans.
- Fondo Adelante. To pump anti-displacement capital into the Mission, MEDA’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Fondo Adelante, offers low-interest loans to those who cannot obtain capital at traditional lenders. To date, Fondo Adelante has disbursed 91 loans for $2.53 million, with 34% to undocumented entrepreneurs.
- Real Estate. MEDA’s Community Real Estate team harnesses the power of the City of San Francisco’s Small Sites Program, which enables nonprofits to buy four- to 25-unit apartment buildings with residents and commercial tenants vulnerable to eviction. MEDA’s portfolio already includes 25 such properties, and there are now 23 commercial spaces offered maintained place under the aegis of MEDA as their new landlord.
- Policy & Advocacy. To ensure fairness of opportunity, MEDA’s Policy & Advocacy team uses an equity lens to drive land-use strategies with the City. This work includes endorsing or opposing legislation that could potentially harm small businesses in the Mission.
It is imperative that the community support its small businesses so that our Latinx community can stay strong. These businesses offer unique items that cannot be found at chain stores, making for more interesting holiday gifts this year.
So, we invite you to #shopsmall in #MissionSF on Saturday, Nov. 30.