North of Market Business Association

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Small Business Resources 

Who said there’s no such thing as free advice?! San Francisco hosts a wealth of resources and organizations that offer free services to help you achieve your vision and increase your odds of long-term business success.

Asian Inc
1167 Mission Street, 4th Floor
ASIAN, Inc. is contracted by the California Public Utilities Commission to operate the Supplier Clearinghouse, certifying business as Women- and/or Minority-owned Business Enterprises (WMBE, WBE, & MBE). The purpose of this certification is to encourage, recruit, and utilize businesses owned and operated by women and/or minorities by the Utility Companies under the CAPUC Commission.

Bayview Business Resource Center
3801 Third Street

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
165 11th Street
415.255.1108 x 105
BALLE works with communities around the US and Canada, organizing small and medium-sized businesses into networks to green and strengthen their local economies. Since its founding in 2001, the network has grown rapidly; in the last two years it has tripled in size to nearly 60 networks and become increasingly influential in the world of sustainable business and economic development.

Council Of District Merchants
3444 Broderick Street
The Council is dedicated to the promotion, preservation and enhancement of San Francisco’s Business Community and brings together nearly twenty diverse neighborhood business organizations, giving small business owners a broad base of support. As a host of San Francisco’s Small Business Week, we help to celebrate the success of small business – the very backbone of San Francisco’s economy.

Department of the Environment
11 Grove Street
The Department of the Environment has a Green Business Program. Any business can become a green business-and the city would like to help that process along. To qualify, a business must comply with all applicable federal, state and local regulations and meet program criteria for conserving resources, preventing pollution, and minimizing waste. Free to all local businesses, the program offers hands-on support, training and technical assistance from environmental experts.

235 Montgomery Street, Suite 300

Entertainment Commission
City Hall, Room 453, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
A seven member Commission established in 2003, the Entertainment Commission has the powers and duties to accept, review, gather information regarding and conduct hearings for entertainment-related permit applications. Additionally, the Entertainment Commission plans and coordinates the provision of City services for major events for which there is no recognized organizer, promoter, or sponsor.

Human Rights Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 800
The HRC works to provide leadership and advocacy to secure, protect and promote human rights for all people.

La Cocina
2948 Folsom Street
415.824.2729 x 303
La Cocina provides commercial kitchen space and technical assistance to low-income entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing their food businesses.

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, a program of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area
131 Steuart St., Suite 400, 94105
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) is an economic development project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. LSE provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals who want to start or develop for-profit businesses; and for-profit businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities.

LGBT Community Center / Golden Gate Business Association
1800 Market Street
We provide a range of services to help LGBT small businesses and entrepreneurs start, run and grow their small businesses. We offer free expert one-on-one counseling to address a full spectrum of business planning and marketing needs. Special emphasis is placed on providing strategic support with loans, loan packaging, and post-loan technical assistance. The Center also offers regularly held group workshops on a variety of marketing, business financing, sales, legal, human resources, and small business-related topics. The GGBA’s mission is to support the growth and visibility of LGBT and supportive businesses.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
369 Pine Street, Suite 350

Mayor’s Office of Community Development (MOCD)
1 Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor
MOCD contracts with local Economic Development organizations to provide technical assistance, training and loan packaging services for small businesses. In addition to grants, MOCD administers the Small Business Loan Program that provides start-up and existing small businesses with loans that can be used for a number of purposes, including working capital, equipment purchase and other business expansion activities.

Mayor’s Office of Community Investment (MOCI)
1 So. Van Ness Ave., 5th Floor
MOCI contracts with local Economic Development organizations to provide technical assistance, training and loan packaging services for small businesses. In addition to grants, MOCD administers the Small Business Loan Program that provides start-up and existing small businesses with loans that can be used for a number of purposes, including working capital, equipment purchase and other business expansion activities.

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
3505 20th Street
415.282.3334 x 25
Since 1973, the Mission Economic Development Agency has been dedicated to improving the economic and social conditions of San Francisco’s immigrants and working class families with an emphasis on the Latino community and the Mission and Excelsior districts.

MerchantCircle is the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, over 1,000,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants. Learn more at

Northeast Community Federal Credit Union
683 Clay Street
Targets low-income and unbanked individuals with their banking needs. One-stop services ranging from registering the Company to writing business plans and applying for loans.

Northern California Minority Business Enterprise Center
1167 Mission Street
MBEC provides strategic business consulting, procurement assistance, financial services and certification application assistance.

Office of Contract Administration (OCA)
City Hall, Room 430, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
The Office of Contract Administration/Purchasing of the City and County of San Francisco supports the procurement of the material, equipment, and services that are essential to providing governmental services for the citizens of San Francisco. The contracting and procurement services that Purchasing provides, support the operations of the City departments who provide services to the public.

Office of Economic and Workforce Development
City Hall, Room 448
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
OEWD supports the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco. Under the direction of Mayor Gavin Newsom, OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning. OEWD’s programs are responsible for strengthening San Francisco’s many diverse neighborhoods and commercial corridors, creating a business climate where companies can grow and prosper and ensuring a continually high quality of life for all San Franciscans.

Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE)

City Hall, Room 430, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) enforces labor laws adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and by San Francisco voters. OLSE ensures that public works contractors comply with prevailing wage regulations, enforces the Minimum Compensation Ordinance and Health Care Accountability Ordinance, and administers the City’s Sweatfree Contracting Ordinance. OLSE also enforces labor laws of general application, including the SF Minimum Wage Ordinance, Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and Health Care Security Ordinance.

Office of Small Business
City Hall, Room 448, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
The Small Business Commission functions as the City’s central point of information and referral for entrepreneurs and small businesses located in San Francisco. By championing “business friendly” policies, marketing the contributions of the small business sector and developing appropriate assistance programs, the Small Business Commission and it’s Office of Small Business work to support and enhance an environment where small businesses can succeed and flourish.

Opportunity Fund
785 Market Street, Suite 1700
Opportunity Fund is a Nonprofit Lending Institution that provides small business loans to businesses throughout San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and the greater Bay Area. We provide low interest loans and business consulting to existing businesses that get turned away from banks.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
275 Fifth Street
Renaissance is San Francisco’s oldest small business development organization. We provide comprehensive services to meet the needs of women and men, small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs at all stages of their business development from startup to launch and growth.

San Francisco Locally Owned Merchant Alliance (SFLOMA)

1007 General Kennedy Avenue
SFLOMA identifies and promotes locally owned independent businesses. Our goal is to educate and inform residents of and visitors to San Francisco of the positive economic value on the community and the value to the individual of shopping an independent retailers first.

455 Market Street, 6th Floor
SCORE is a non-profit resource partner of the Small Business Administration dedicated to educating entrepreneurs. Our volunteers are working and retired business executives who provide free counseling and low cost workshops to help businesses get started and grow successfully.

Small Business Administration (SBA)
455 Market Street, 6th Floor
The Small Business Administration is the federal agency assisting entrepreneurs with financing, training and advocacy. In addition, the SBA works with thousands of lending, educational and training institutions nationwide to benefit businesses.

Small Business Network
P. O. Box 225336, San Francisco, CA 94122

Small Business Development Center
300 Montgomery Street, Suite 789
The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free, confidential one-on-one business counseling from professional consultants for existing and ready-to-launch businesses, low cost hands-on workshops and access-to-capital programs. This SBA funded program is a member of the Northern California SBDC network.

Southeast Asian Community Center
875 O’Farrell Street
Our mission is to develop and administer programs that serve the needs of the Southeast Asian communities which include self-sufficiency, economic viability, advocacy, community empowerment, leadership development, acculturation, cultural preservation and small business development including micro-loans.

Treasurer / Tax Collector
City Hall, Room 140, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Urban Solutions
1083 Mission Street, 2nd Floor
Urban Solutions is an economic development non-profit organization whose mission is to foster the well-being of disadvantaged communities by helping to increase neighborhood commercial vitality, strengthen small businesses, create jobs and encourage diversity.

Women’s Initiative For Self Employment
1398 Valencia Street
Women’s Initiative for Self Employment provides a safe, supportive environment where high-potential, lower-income women can receive the help they need to start and grow their own businesses. We offer a 20 session business-training course, individual coaching and financing services in both English and Spanish. Women graduate with a business plan and the self-confidence to make it work. Women’s Initiative also offers on-going business support, matched saving program and micro-loans to graduates.

Working Solutions
611 Front Street
Working Solutions is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that provides underserved microentrepreneurs with the access to capital and resources they need to start or grow a business. We strive to strengthen the economy, create jobs, and build strong communities.