As part of a Salesforce fund established to combat the impact of COVID-19, grants were distributed to a diverse group of businesses from neighborhoods across the city
Today, Salesforce announced it has distributed $870,000 in grants as part of the 2021 Salesforce San Francisco Small Business Grants program. The $1 million fund, announced in September, provides support for San Francisco small businesses impacted by the continued emphasis on virtual work and events resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grant recipients were selected from diverse industries and neighborhoods, showcasing the strong, vibrant local business community in the city Salesforce calls home.
“The success of our small businesses is in part closely tied to the well-being of our communities,” said Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce. “I’m excited about this grant program because it supports an equitable recovery through the pandemic, and deepens our ongoing investment in diverse local entrepreneurs.”
This is the second time that Salesforce has sponsored a grant program specifically for San Francisco small businesses. This year’s grants were distributed to 87 small businesses, with grantees made up of 54% women, 28% Black or African American, 28% Hispanic, 38% Asian, and 9% LGBTQ+-owned businesses. Recipients included a broad range of industries, most prominently restaurants and bars, retail, professional services, personal services, and healthcare.
“Small businesses have remained integral to the communities they serve, even throughout the pandemic,” said Enrique Ortegon, SVP, SMB, Salesforce. “As part of the San Francisco community, Salesforce is proud to give back to small businesses in our own backyard through this grant program.”
Grant recipients include:
Paula Tejeda is the owner of Chile Lindo, a beloved deli, coffee, and empanada shop in the Mission District. Chile Lindo’s vision is to share and spread Chilean cuisine and culture throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Tejeda will use this grant to continue supporting her community by employing local artists and musicians, and providing immigrants with jobs and training that set them up for lifelong success.
Lawanda Dickerson is founder and owner of U3Fit, which offers nutrition, fitness, and life coaching in the Bay View neighborhood. Dickerson’s vision is fueled by her belief that everyone has a right to a healthy mind, body, and soul. This grant will help her expand the business to serve even more people in her community, and will allow her to continue offering discounts to those who need them.
For more than 20 years, Chicago II Barbershop has been a critical community hub for San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood. Founder and owner Robert Harlin, who started the shop in 1997 to carry on the tradition of the great Chicago Barbershops, said: “Receiving this grant makes me feel more confident for the future of this barber shop.”
Asima Arif founded Earthfire Arts in the Inner Sunset to provide do-it-yourself ceramic painting in a creative, relaxed environment. She believes that being creative is an essential activity that helps people connect, and she looks forward to hosting many parties and events in the coming year.
Johnson Leather creates custom garments and provides repairs and alterations. The business has been in its current Polk St location since 1988. Owner Damon Lew plans to use some of the Salesforce grant money to update his shop’s technology so it can serve even more customers and continue to grow.
Abi’s Flowers is a floral boutique in the Polk Gulch neighborhood that specializes in custom bouquets and arrangements. After nearly two decades of running a small business in San Francisco, Owner Anne Siu will use the grant to continue bringing beauty to her neighborhood, her community, and her customers.