Our 2009 Small Business Awards - Page 3

True diversity, golden survivors, chain alternatives, and pure grit: Our annual salute to small business

"When people walk through the door, we can take the time to help them develop a roadmap to doing business here." And she's a driving force behind the Shop Local campaign, which will launch this month with bus shelter and bus-side ads designed to encourage San Franciscans to keep their money in town (co-sponsored by the Guardian).

Known in political circles as a former aide to Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, Dick-Endrizzi has a solid background in business. She moved to San Francisco in 1986 to open the Haight Street Buffalo Exchange store, and worked with that company for 13 years. "We bought our inventory from local people, and I had to have a close relationship with local small businesses," she said. "I have an intimate understanding of what it takes to run a business."

After several years in Mirkarimi's office, she learned of the opening at the Small Business Commission, and plans to stay there for a while. "I truly believe in what this department offers to small business," she said. "There's such a tremendous need." (Tim Redmond)


1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, SF

(415) 554-6134






Urban Solutions has its roots in the South of Market Foundation, an economic development corporation formed in 1992 in response to what SoMa merchants, residents, and community-based organizations felt was a lack of accountability in their neighborhood's development.

A decade later, the organization changed its name and Urban Solutions was born. Two years after that, the burgeoning nonprofit opened a second office, this time in the Western Addition, becoming an important source of service in both neighborhoods.

Urban Solution's executive director Jenny McNulty says she is currently excited about her organization's Green Business initiative, which helps educate small business on how to conserve resources and reduce their carbon footprints — and save money in the process.

McNulty is also amped about Urban Solution's effort — undertaken with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency — to revitalize Sixth Street's commercial corridor.

"We're expanding our Green Business Initiative program, which offers free consulting to help small businesses go green by implementing cost-saving practices to increase the sustainability of their business operations," McNulty said.

Urban Solutions' Sixth Street revitalization effort includes beautifying the area and helping businesses, in conjunction with Redevelopment Agency grants, by improving their facades, installing new awnings, repainting buildings, and replacing windows, storefronts, and entrance ways.

"Our focus is low-income businesses," McNulty said. (Sarah Phelan)


1083 Mission, SF

(415) 553-4433




Photo by Abi Kelly


Jens-Peter Jungclaussen had a dream: Buy a gutted, camouflage-painted school bus on eBay, convert it to biodiesel, and put it to use as a mobile classroom by day and a party on wheels by night, a rollicking omnibus of education, culture, and sustainability.