The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Small Business Assessment Program was launched in response to the City’s small businesses requesting assistance remove access barriers. The program’s objectives are to educate small businesses Citywide about ADA compliance and provide eligible businesses in Invest in Neighborhood corridors with an ADA assessment report and plan for compliance with ADA law, and provide access to resources and loan programs.
The ADA CASp Small Business Assessment Program
- A program that assists businesses with access to assessments and resources to make the improvements to their businesses.
- The goals of the program are to improve both ADA compliance and accessibility, and help small businesses reduce their risk of being sued.
- The program will provide eligible small business owners a proactive, customized on-site assessment and a report to help them become compliant with ADA barriers.
- The goal of the assessments will be to develop affordable and reasonable options to make businesses accessible.
The ADA Small Business Assessment Program is administered by the Northeast Community Federal Credit Union (NCFCU). For those businesses that receive an ADA assessment, the Office of Small Business and NCFCU will help your business access resources such as technical assistance, tax incentives, and low-interest affordable loans from our micro-lending partners.
The program is free of cost for those meeting the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, businesses must be committed and willing to work with the consultants on a plan to remove access to barriers.
To apply for a free ADA assessment, please download and submit your completed application to Northeast Community Federal Credit Union:
For more information on ADA compliance for your small business visit the Office of Small Business site.
The Jobs Squad helps small businesses save money, navigate City processes, access vital programs, and stay informed of issues that may affect them. This team of City staff conducts door-to-door outreach to small businesses around the City to connect them with help and information. The Jobs Squad supports small businesses through the following activities:
- Provide information on existing City resources and programs that directly benefit small businesses.
- Provide technical assistance to help businesses navigate permitting processes.
- Provide information on baseline services and customized services to the 25 Invest in Neighborhood commercial corridors.
- Partner with City agencies to assist small businesses when faced with disasters and crises, such as fires and floods.
- Address systemic issues faced by small businesses by partnering with the Office of Small Business to formulate policy recommendations.
To contact the Jobs Squad or request a visit to your small business or neighborhood e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, contact staff directly:
- Kamilah Latimore at email@example.com or (415) 554-6031.
- Francis Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 554-5106. Assistance available in Cantonese and Mandarin.
The Office of Small Business serves as the City’s central point of information and referral for entrepreneurs and small businesses located in San Francisco. Case managers are available to assist entrepreneurs with information about starting a business; working with the City; navigating permits and licensing processes; and accessing other programs offered by the City and partnering nonprofits.
Business Portal San Francisco’s web application for accessing information on all permit and license requirements for your business type, and resources on how to start and grow your business.
Contact case managers by phone at 415-554-6134, email, or in person at City Hall, Room 110, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, 94102.
Invest In Neighborhoods (IIN) has City Hall Liaisons who are staff members which have been assigned to each IIN neighborhood commercial district. Each liaison is responsible for the following in relation to their assignment:
- Advocating for the neighborhood commercial district,
- Leveraging City services and community partners to address unique opportunities and challenges,
- Working with community members to develop a customized service plan,
- Keeping track of vacant retail spaces and development projects, and
- Other responsibilities specific to each neighborhood commercial district.
To identify the City Hall Liaison for your neighborhood commercial district, visit the neighborhood page or download this list.
The City’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development and its partners offers a variety of loan programs to entrepreneurs seeking to launch, expand or stabilize their business, including:
- The Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), a partnership with Working Solutions, offers loans ranging from $5-50K to qualifying start-up and expanding small businesses.
- The Emerging Business Loan Fund (EBLF), a partnership with Bay Area Small Business Finance, offers loans ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000 to growth-phase small businesses and qualifying commercial real estate projects.
- Opportunity Fund offers microloans of up to $10,000 to existing businesses in San Francisco.
- Mission Asset Fund helps clients participate in lending circles that are zero-fee, zero-interest credit-building social loans. By organizing low-income community members into Lending Circles, borrowers become lenders and lenders become borrowers.
- Kiva Zip helps entrepreneurs access zero-interest loans to launch or expand their micro-enterprise.
For more information, download a summary of the OEWD business loan programs and contact information, or visit the Office of Small Business at City Hall or contact them at 415-554-6134 .
The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is one of our many partners that help individuals start, manage and grow their businesses in San Francisco. SBDC provides free confidential one-on-one customized consulting services and training workshops in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese to established businesses and certain start-ups in the City. SBDC’s team of professional consultants are also business owners with diverse backgrounds and expertise in a variety of industries such as restaurant and specialty food service, fashion retail and manufacturing, wholesale, technology and social media, government contract, among others.
For more information, go to sfsbdc.org.
Please click here and complete the following form and you will be contacted to schedule an appointment. If you do not have an email, gives SBDC a call at (415) 937-SBDC (7232).