Mayor Lee Launches SF Biz Connect – A Business to Business Buy Local Campaign to Increase Purchasing at Local & Small Businesses

Mayor Edwin M. Lee has launched SF Biz Connect, an initiative challenging businesses to shift at least five percent of their spending to local San Francisco small businesses.Square-Logo

“SF Biz Connect challenges businesses to look to their neighbors when making purchasing decisions and to buy local,” said Mayor Lee. “San Francisco is home to more than 90,000 registered businesses and counting, and supporting small businesses by shifting spending doesn’t cost a thing, but makes a big difference to a small business’ bottom line. We encourage our residents to shop local year round, and now SF Biz Connect will help businesses shop local too.”

“Our mission is to help all businesses, big and small, succeed in our City,” said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Linscheid. “What we have found is what we call an opportunity disconnect – small businesses do not know about opportunities to work with big businesses and big businesses may not know they have potential partner down the street. SF Biz Connect is the missing link that will put the two in touch.”

According to the Controller’s Office, a one percent increase in spending at restaurants and retailers in neighborhood corridors would generate an additional $100 million to our economy.

The SF Biz Connect initiative’s launch has been met with widespread support. Businesses such as Recology and the Hyatt Regency have taken the pledge. The initiative’s online platform allows businesses to join with the Mayor and take the pledge, but it also contains a searchable database of local and small businesses eager to provide services to those that have taken the pledge.

“Stephen Mayer and Associates is pleased to be taking Mayor Lee’s SF Biz Connect pledge” said Steve Mayer. “By simply shifting $25,000 dollars of our spending to local small businesses – we will be able to keep our money local and provide increased opportunities’ for our neighborhood businesses.”

“Recology, San Francisco’s recycling and compost collection company, started in San Francisco and is based in The City. We say supporting local, home-grown companies, small businesses, is fundamental to supporting San Francisco itself. We are long-time supporters of The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, The Council of District Merchants, and other groups and organizations representing the interests of small businesses,” said Recology Public Relations Manager Robert Reed. “We patronize service and supply companies in The City. Examples include The Soup Company, Alma Street Media, GoodLife Grocery, and Rainbow Grocery, and San Francisco-based newspapers. Small businesses are our customers and we are their customer. By supporting each other we strengthen San Francisco’s economy, which ultimately is beneficial to everyone.”

“The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is proud to be taking the SF Biz Connect pledge. We believe that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant and inclusive economic landscape” said Hyatt Regency San Francisco General Manager David Lewin. “We have partnered with La Cocina to identify emerging businesses with a focus on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Through this partnership we have recently identified 2 local small business – Kika’s Treats and Sabores del Sur – that supply items for our room service amenity program with well received results.”

Shopping and buying local creates 57 jobs for every $10 million in consumer spending compared to 14 jobs created through online shopping, according to Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), a coalition of trade associations and organizations that represent locally owned, independent businesses serving a consumer market.

For three years, Google has been a client of Nana Joes, a local handmade granola company.

“We built out a kitchen over three years ago to keep up with demand of our product. Adding on more orders has become significantly easier with the extra space and we can keep raw ingredients on hand,” said Nana Joes Granola Owner Michelle Pusateri. “I really think supplying to local businesses helps fuel positive energy into our work place because we know where everything we produce is headed. I love selling to Google and it helps generate more revenue that in turn adds more hours to each employee’s shifts. The closer we are to full time for each employee the happier everyone is!”

The announcement of the SF Biz Connect initiative was made during the San Francisco’s 11th Annual Small Business Week where the City celebrates and recognizes the contributions and achievements of small business owners by offering a series of educational and networking events designed to inspire, educate and connect the members of our business community.

For more information on SF Biz Connect, go to: www.sfbizconnect.com.