“What makes San Francisco so great?” clients inquire whenever bringing their group to our great city. Earlier this week, Key Events attended the SF Biz Connect Event at Pinterest and heard business owners share what makes San Francisco unlike any other metropolitan city – the people, the businesses and their thriving communities.
SF Biz Connect is a recent city-wide initiative powered by SF Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) focusing on bringing together the big industry players and small businesses. The panel consisted of a mix of business sizes from Pinterest, Airbnb, and Recology to Rickshaw Bagworks and Equator Coffees and Teas. While the audience represented members of the SF Chamber of Commerce, Cole Hardware, Salty Sweet Bakery, among many others. It was clear that the passion and love for San Francisco was a huge factor in each company present that evening. Whether big or small, people were focused on supporting the community that surrounds their businesses and shaping who they are as a business.
The small businesses commented on their challenges of operating in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. But despite these challenges, each small business was bursting with pride in providing not only goods or services but an experience unique and special to San Francisco. “It’s not what we do, it’s WHY we do it!” proclaimed Mark Dwight, Founder & CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, Inc. with each person on the panel and even in the audience nodding in agreeance.
In turn, the bigger businesses talked about the roles local businesses have played in their catering, event entertainment, and other aspects of their day-to-day operations. Many present pledged their dedication by committing 5% of their spending to local and small businesses through SF Biz Connect. Perhaps one of the most memorable quotes of the evening showcasing this harmonious relationship between big and small was from Helen Russell, co-founder of Equator Coffees & Teas:
“In a country with a shrinking middle class [it is important to hire and source locally]. For those of us who have taken Pilates, we know how important it is to keep a strong core.”
As an ambassador of San Francisco for travelers looking to experience the city, Key Events seeks out opportunities to showcase the local culture and communities in every neighborhood. From special private group tour of the local vendors in the Ferry Building, taking in the cultural and political murals in the alleyways of the Mission District, or a beer crawl through the local breweries in the Dogpatch – we love showing our clients San Francisco through a local’s eyes!
Special thanks to Pinterest and San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for having us for an inspiring conversation about the city we all love!
To take the pledge and support San Francisco businesses go to http://www.sfbizconnect.com/pledge/
Written by Creative Services Coordinator Roeh Quisao