OBDC Small Business Finance believes that our unique partnerships are a critical component to connecting our borrowers to the funding, education, and relationships they need to thrive. This year is proving to be full of exciting new partnerships and initiatives.
I’m thrilled to share that Mission Asset Fund has named OBDC Small Business Finance one of ten Better Bay Area initiative awardees. Mission Asset Fund initiated this project thanks to support from Google, Y&H Soda Foundation, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. As an awardee, OBDC is now offering Lending Circles to provide business owners with credit building opportunities, financial education, and community relationships.
OBDC is contracting with the City of Oakland to provide technical assistance and funding to businesses who may be impacted by construction along International Boulevard, as a part of AC Transit and the City of Oakland’s upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. We will be working with business owners along the corridor to offset some of the challenges the construction may pose so that their businesses can continue to operate and grow over the next few years.
Our organizational report is scheduled to be released this summer, highlighting our work in Oakland, San Francisco, and with veterans. We are excited to share our clients’ stories and highlight some of the impacts their businesses have in our communities. Please visit our blog so you can view the report as soon as it’s available.
We look forward to continuing to share our work with you as we launch into a new fiscal year. Thank you for your partnership and support.
Jacob Singer, CEO
Are Your Paying Your Workers Correctly?
Understanding the difference between employees and independent contractors can mean the difference between peace and penalties. Misclassifying workers can lead to additional taxes, penalties, and interest, borne solely by the business owner. Be aware that your worker or a competitor could be the whistleblower. This seminar will help business owners educate themselves and their agents (i.e. payroll services, bookkeepers, accountants and attorneys) about ways to avoid making crucial mistakes. For our workshop flyer and more details, click here. This workshop will discuss:
· Employees vs independent contractors and
· Statutory employment and exempt services
· Resources to help classify workers
· Special information for restaurant businesses
(including a discussion of tips and service fees)
Join us Tuesday, June 23 from 8:30-11am in OBDC’s office at 2101 Webster Street, Suite 1200 in Oakland. This workshop is being offered in partnership with the Employment Development Department and OBDC. Click here to register.
Borrower Resources: Business Consultant Tips by Paula
Build your business while Oakland builds the BRT
The City of Oakland and AC Transit are preparing to begin development of a 9.5-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route along the International Boulevard Corridor. This East Bay BRT project is estimated to cost $174 million over three years and has received $81 million in federal funding. After eight years of intensive community planning and project plan development, the project is scheduled to break ground in late 2015. The BRT project has huge community and economic development potential for the low-to-moderate income neighborhoods along International Boulevard. AC Transit is expecting increased ridership from 25,000 to 36,000 patrons per day along that route. If your business is along this bus route, that is a 44% increase in people rolling by your doors every day who might become new customers.
In order for your business to take advantage of the coming economic opportunity, we at OBDC suggest a three step approach called “Plan – Build – Grow”:
Step 1 – “PLAN”: The perfect time to begin planning for what’s ahead is before the BRT construction starts. Perhaps you can create an action plan around the following activities:
Review your business operations to see if there are ways to cut costs and operate more efficiently.
Research new ways to attract customers both online and through your existing network.
Find out how much it would cost to spruce up your internal décor, improve external façade, or get a new sign.
Step 2 – “BUILD”: After construction begins, you can build your business by implementing the action plans you created in Step 1 – “Plan”. Executing your plans could include:
Purchasing new equipment, or recruiting much needed staff.
Creating a new website or logo to attract new customers.
Hiring a designer or contractor to implement your remodeling ideas.
Obtaining a loan to help with any of these activities.
Step 3 – “GROW”: Once the BRT is finished, not only will there be sparkling new buses rolling by with potential new customers, but you will have finished executing your action plans in Step 2 – “Build”. Now your newly energized business will be ready to grow by serving your new customers and community.
Click here to read Paula’s entire column on our blog. Click here to learn more about the BRT project.
Get to Know Flor de Maria Melara, Assistant Vice President – Relationship Manager
Flor specializes in client development, loan packaging, and establishing strategic alliances with community partners to serve the Hispanic market in the Bay Area. She holds a BA in Business Economics, BA in French and Francophone Studies, and an MBA from Mills College. Flor came to OBDC after managing the Financial Services Department at the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment for five years. She is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Business Leadership Award recipient. In 2011, Flor was elected by the California State Department’s Partner’s Program to participate in a Business Fellowship Program for a month in Mexico DF. Click here for Flor’s bio.
“At OBDC, we are helping people do it themselves! We are empowering them to be independent, to take charge of their destiny, and in the process, to improve the lives of everyone around them. We’re providing the funding, tools, and support to run successful businesses, but ultimately it is the courageous small business owner who is creating jobs and transforming cities like Oakland and San Francisco through economic activity.” – Flor Melara
myRA: A Retirement Savings Option for Small Businesses
Small businesses now have a new way to help their employees save for retirement. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently introduced myRA (my Retirement Account), a new retirement starter savings account that is simple, safe and affordable for both employers and their employees. It was created for employees who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through work including part-time, seasonal, temporary and contracted employees. Click here for more information about how myRA can help your employees and how to participate.
Are You Paying Your Workers Correctly? Seminar
Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Location: 2101 Webster Street,
Suite 1200, Oakland, CA 94612
More info: OBDC and the Employment Development Department offer a seminar that will help business owners educate themselves about ways to avoid making crucial mistakes in classifying employees or contractors.Click hereto register.
Tech Training for Small Business, offered by Urban Solutions
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Location: 901 Mission Street, Suite 105, San Francisco, CA 94103
More info: Participate in this free introductory workshop to a variety of technologies that are available at no or low cost that can improve your small business’ profitability, raise your income, and increase your employability. Click here to register.
We’re excited to announce that OBDC has recently funded these incredible businesses!
Click here for our careers page for more information about our two new staff positions supporting our business advising and technical assistance programs.
Grow Your Network
OBDC is proud to partner with Townsquared, a closed social networking site that connects neighborhood businesses to one another. Townsquared offers OBDC a platform to share news, business tips, and resources directly with our clients. Click here to join today for exclusive access to our workshop materials, upcoming opportunities for your business, and more content you’ll only find on Townsquared.
Expert Business Advising
At OBDC we are proud to continue our partnership with Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). PCV’s online advising program has a great new website and offers…