Katie Taylor, Vice President – Marketing & Executive Projects, interviews Brooke Solomon, Main Street Launch’s Loan Closing Manager. Click here to read Brooke’s bio.
How did you come across Main Street Launch?
I graduated from the UC Berkeley in 2017, and I immediately accepted an internship at Main Street Launch. I had always been interested in economic development in the Bay Area, but I still had so much to learn. I took the internship as an opportunity to learn everything I could throughout the entire organization. I understood quickly that Main Street Launch was my new home, and I am fortunate to have been able to stay on the team full time.
In what ways do you think Main Street Launch brings value to our communities?
Main Street Launch is known for being a community lender. We offer great loan products to small businesses in Oakland, San Francisco, and to veterans throughout California. We truly believe in all of our clients businesses, and we are here to help them succeed. If capital is not the best fit for you, we can help you find out what is best suited for your current needs. Our clients are helping the communities become vibrant. They hire locally and bring a sense of identity to the different neighborhoods, which we believe helps everyone. Main Street Launch also offers two free business directories, one that covers all of Oakland and one that covers San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood. These were created to help all businesses have an online presence to adapt to the ways that customers are finding businesses. The directories are still growing, but they have already become a great resource for shopping in your neighborhood.
In what ways do you work with clients? What’s a brief description of your role?
My focus in on our various microloan programs, loans up to $50,000. I review loan files, make sure everything is in compliance, and then I sit down with the client and close the loans. It is really enjoyable to sit down with the clients in these moments. The closings give me the opportunity to hear the detailed stories about their small business journey. I love being able to hear people talk about their passions, and each business and entrepreneurial timeline is unique to the individual.
What inspires or motivates you about your work with clients?
The entrepreneurial spirit is so inspiring. It takes an intelligent, ambitious, and passionate individual to put their whole heart into their own business. Being able to work with clients and hear their stories of how they get to where they are today honestly stops me in my tracks and reminds me to keep hustling. It is an honor to be a service to them and to join their team in supporting them.
What do you enjoy about working on our team?
Our team is extremely mission-oriented. I feel that the staff comes into the office motivated, and it is clear that everyone is here for the small business owners. I also have enjoyed getting to know my coworkers; it is important to me to work on a team where I feel supported. I have found my voice at Main Street Launch, and I feel encouraged to share my ideas.
Anything else you’d like folks to know?
Everyone on the Main Street Launch staff is here to help your business succeed. We want to be an advocate for you and your business, and we are on your team. I would encourage reaching out to Main Street and see what services we have available for you and your business. If ours services are not the best fit, then we can help connect you to someone who is the perfect fit. If you are already a client of Main Street Launch, make sure to keep a great line of communication with us. We not only want to support you on your business endeavors, but we also want to shop at your business.