Katie Taylor, Vice President – Marketing & Executive Projects, interviews Andrea Ramirez, Business Outreach Manager. Andrea comes to Main Street Launch with a diverse background include affordable housing and tenants rights and GIS mapping. Click here to read Andrea’s bio.
How did you come across Main Street Launch?
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2016, I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in an organization that helps create opportunity for residents of Oakland. I was fortunate to come across the Data Collection internship position offered by Main Street Launch while searching online. The position was attractive to me because it allowed me to utilize analytical skills that I obtained in college, while giving me the opportunity to immerse myself in Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods, especially those that do not receive the attention and resources that key shopping corridors receive.
In what ways do you think Main Street Launch brings value to our communities?
Main Street Launch brings value to communities by helping to level the playing field for independently-owned businesses. By offering them access to capital, Main Street Launch makes it possible for small businesses to grow. By offering business services and technical assistance, Main Street Launch gives businesses tools that help strengthen their brand.
In what ways do you work with clients? What’s a brief description of your role?
My role as Business Outreach manager is to visit small businesses throughout Oakland, learn about each business, and offer support internally and through our referral system. My role also involves helping businesses improve their online presence by including them in our city-wide online directory, Shop Oakland Now, and helping them take the steps necessary to be found online such as claiming a Yelp page and adding high quality photos.
What inspires or motivates you about your work with clients?
I am inspired daily by entrepreneurs who tell me their stories about following their dream of being a business owner. There are so many challenges that entrepreneurs face and it’s amazing to hear the innovative ways businesses overcome these challenges. I feel so emotionally invested in the people that are willing to share their struggles and successes with me. I love that I get to share their story with others through Shop Oakland Now.
What do you enjoy about working on our team?
I love that our team is genuinely interested in, and excited about, all of the different projects that Main Street Launch is involved in. Everyone is so busy, but we always take the time to ask each other how each project is going. Everyone is also great at offering help or advice when possible.
Anything else you’d like folks to know?
I would like to invite readers to take a look at our Shop Oakland Now platform and give us feedback. If your favorite business has not been listed, let us know! We would love to reach out to them. If you have a small business, and we have not met, yet, please reach out to me any time. I am excited to learn about your business!