New Address: Two Embarcadero Center, 8th floor, San Francisco, CA 94111     

Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson, Mendocino Solar

Bruce Erickson and Maggie Watson were employed by Mendocino Solar and then bought out the owner in 2005. To transition from employees to the boss, they met with West Company consultants who assisted them with financial planning, employee management, social media, and funding that included a $12,00 stimulus grant and a $95,000 business loan.

Kevin Ho & Juan Miron, MIHO Catering Co.

Co-owners Kevin Ho and Juan Miron met while working in the restaurant industry and shared a passion for gathering friends and family around good food. In the spring of 2010, they launched MIHO Gastrotruck, a food truck that provided locally sourced, natural, healthy, good food.  One of the biggest hurdles they crossed was financing. They weren’t successful in securing financing through traditional means and were referred to Accion San Diego who lent them $15,000 to buy and fix up an old lunch truck.

Jessica McGuinty, Jessicurl

Jessica McGuinty was able to grow Jessicurl, her Humboldt-based hair product business, thanks to extensive coaching from the North Coast SBDC and a loan from the Arcata Economic Development Corporation.

Chai Lee, Chai’s Cleaning Service

Escaping the harsh realities of life in a refugee camp was a victory for Chai and his family, but he had to re-build his life. Chai liked the idea of owning a business. He had no credit history and very little collateral, but wanted to buy a janitorial franchise. Because of an $8,000 loan and training from Fresno CDFI, Chai Lee was able to realize his dream of running his own business.

Cortland Avenue Corridor

San Francisco – An unprecedented number of small businesses in the Cortland Avenue Corridor are utilizing an important asset in the San Francisco small business community. Working Solutions, a local nonprofit microlender is providing much-needed capital to businesses that need small loans that traditional banks won’t touch. And creating jobs in the process – a total of 17 jobs!

Galen Garretson, Town Cutler

San Francisco – Galen saw beautiful sushi-grade fish lose their clean line, vegetables chopped in non-uniform sizes, and butchers turn red because of rough cuts. Finally fed up with this problem, he put down his chef’s hat and replaced it with a whetstone.