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Business Success Stories

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Business Success Stories

ADVOCACY & ASSISTANCE

“We always knew it would be ideal to be adjacent to UCSF in Mission Bay. It was the City’s decisive actions in other arenas—tax relief for Biotech firms, expedited permitting and relaxed parking restrictions—that sent the strong message that the City is committed to Biotech. We needed to see this level of commitment before making our plans, and the City came through.”
--Gail Maderis
Chief Executive Officer
FivePrime Therapeutics

“We started Sugar Bowl Bakery in 1984 in San Francisco as a small neighborhood bakery. The City has always been our valued partner––with their support and help we have since grown to be one of the largest wholesale bakeries in Northern California. In 2002 we opened a manufacturing plant in the Bay View district. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development pro-actively contacted us and conducted a site visit to understand our business needs better and see if there was anything the City could do to make our area an even more competitive place to do business. Shortly after hearing our concerns about low street lighting around our facility, OEWD worked with the appropriate city departments to install energy efficient lights around our facility which has which allowed us to focus on growing our business.”
--Andrew Ly
President/CEO
Sugar Bowl Bakery


“The City has been a great partner for SMWM. We have worked with the Port of San Francisco on the Ferry Building and Pier 1, the Base Reuse and Real Estate Development Division on the plans for Mission Bay and Hunter’s Point, and the Planning Department on all our education buildings and of course the Transbay Tower and Terminal, among others. Always, we have been approached with openness and candor, and an eagerness to get things right.”
--Cathy Simon
Founding Principal
SMWM


"The Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative is an important communication tool that keeps merchants informed about their own neighborhood. In the Excelsior, NMI has been crucial to our success—it has created an identity and sense of unity within the commercial corridor and brought important resources to small businesses."
--Roberto Guerrero
Co-owner
Martha & Bros. Coffee


"Because of OEWD's Base Reuse and Development Division, Treasure Island has become a national model of how a large development project can help the City support people of all socio-economic backgrounds. In partnership with the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative, the City has committed some of the most valuable real estate in the country to creating housing, jobs and services to formerly homeless individuals."
--Sherry Williams
Executive Director
Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative


“Working makes me happy, which is a great benefit to me and my family. We can have things and go places, and I feel I am doing something positive for myself and my community. I now look forward to the places my career will lead me.”
--Samantha Hanneman
Painter’s Apprentice
CityBuild Academy Graduate


“OEWD has been our sponsor and advocate for many CBD projects in Noe Valley. They have helped us navigate the bureaucracy of the San Francisco City government and led us to the decision-makers. We have planted 126 trees, installed 25 flower baskets, remodeled a city parking lot park, installed new benches and kept 24th Street free of graffiti and litter—and we could not have done any of it without OEWD’s infusion of perseverance.”
--Debra Niemann
Executive Director
Noe Valley CBD


“The support and guidance of OEWD's Office of International Trade and Commerce greatly helped us create and open the first official Vietnam Trade Office in the United States. We are pleased to continue our work with the Office as it supports our goal of expanded trade between our two countries.”
--Tran Quoc Tuan
Trade Consulate
Vietnam Trade Office

ENERGY, DIVERSITY & CREATIVITY

San Francisco is energizing both physically and socially. The quality of life and the diversity of conversations here continue to create new opportunities. San Francisco is a metaphor for the world, and where we’re going—the keys, which are well understood here, are creativity, diversity, tolerance of difference, openness, and continued dialogue, at all levels.”
--Cathy Simon
Founding Principal
SMWM

“San Francisco has both the charm of a small town and the energy of a world-class city rolled into one. This is part of what makes it such a great place to do business—it’s big enough to be internationally recognized, but small enough that you know the name of the shopkeeper who sells you sells you a snack on the way to the ballpark.”
--Neil Ashe
Chief Executive Officer
CNET Networks

“My best inspiration comes from San Francisco. I often sit in my office, just looking out the window at the people, at the action, and take in the energy and pulse. It's inspiring. Some of my favorite ideas and inspirations come from looking out at the city below, and feeling at home.”
--Leslie Blodgett
Chief Executive Officer
Bare Escentuals

“With its traditions of acceptance of diverse beliefs and lifestyles and its openness to innovation, San Francisco is a great headquarters community for a company that depends upon creative people. For a company like Levi’s, the City serves as an incubator for fresh approaches to business and product development.”
--Robert D. Haas
Chairman
Levi Strauss & Co.

“What we considered soft benefits at first have become more tangible the longer that we’ve been here; it’s great being closer to UCSF and having the prestige factor of being on the new Mission Bay campus. We can now say yes, we have won recruiting battles because people are able to walk across the street and have lunch with a post-doc and attend a seminar. Our employees can go and catch a baseball game after work, there are phenomenal restaurant options and the community center here…and our gym has just been rated the best in the City. Being part of the UCSF community gives us more visibility—and gives us a second culture on top of our corporate culture.”
--Gail Maderis
Chief Executive Officer
FivePrime Therapeutics

“Coming here as a kid from the Midwest, I thought it was going to be extremely difficult to build a network. I thought it would take me years to break into the market—I never went through any of that here. Everyone is welcome here…new ideas are welcome. Acceptance into the community, people trying to help you out…it just happens here.”
--Dan Winey
Managing Partner
Gensler Architects


THE NATION’S BEST & BRIGHTEST

“Being based in San Francisco has given CNET Networks access to the nation's best and brightest in several specialties...technology, design, media and more. Our workforce is surrounded by a city as vibrant and energetic as they are—with as varied tastes and adventures to offer.”
--Neil Ashe
Chief Executive Officer
CNET Networks


“We started in South City, but moved up to San Francisco to become part of the cutting-edge Mission Bay facility and community, and to be close to all the great research that is going on here. The central location allowed us to recruit talent from the East Bay, the South Bay and also to have access to the great public transportation in the City—it’s the geographic epicenter.”
--Gail Maderis
Chief Executive Officer
FivePrime Therapeutics

“We are attracting a different kind of employee, the risk-takers, the people who want to work for a smaller company in a more dynamic environment. So, if you are a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon university with a degree in internet technology, why would you not choose the Paris of the U.S.?”
--Jerry M. Kennelly
Chairman and CEO
Riverbed Technology

“What surprises me is the number of people who qualify for these jobs. Recently, we had 217 qualified applicants for a lab tech position; we didn’t even advertise for a graduate-level applicant, but we ended up with one because of the overwhelming number of qualified applicants.”
--Michael Farmer
Chief Operating Officer & Director
Prosetta Corporation

INNOVATIVE INCENTIVES


“We carried forward $623,155 in Enterprise Zone tax credits, which will be used to offset our future taxable income.”
--Marissa Andres
San Francisco Automotive Parts Warehouse


“As a small business owner, the EZ is a great tax benefit. We save $5,000 through hiring tax credits each year.”
--Mary McMillan
Westar Marine Services


"When it came time to renew our lease, our company decided to stay in the same location because of the significant financial savings realized through the Enterprise Zone program."
--Tammara Brown
Finance Director
Kane and Finkel


“What San Francisco and the Bay Area have is a degree of the commitment to entrepreneurship. Everybody talks the talk, but at the end of the day, the Silicon Valley venture capital people invented the game. They back people, not business plans. If you give 10 Boston scientists the opportunity to work for a big company or a small company, 8 out of 10 would take the big company; here, 8 out of 10 would take the risk and go for the small company. They look at their friends and neighbors and see all the successes, and they say I want to go do that.”
--Gail Maderis
Chief Executive Officer
FivePrime Therapeutics

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INTERNATIONAL INSPIRATION


“In San Francisco, technology is a springboard for international business. Having a number of corporate headquarters here and growing their operations here in San Francisco has taken our business elsewhere. We started working with Steve Jobs at Apple, and now we are doing work for him all over the world.”

“A third of my staff is from Asia, half of the partners here are women…these are things that can only happen in San Francisco. What you learn when you run a multi-cultural business here enables you to do business anywhere. We’ve opened up offices all over the world because our staff comes from all over the world.”
--Dan Winey
Managing Partner
Gensler Architects


“I never fail to get tickled when I walk around our labs and see not less than 8 or 10 nationalities working together on common science. Indonesia, China, India, China, Russia, France and Germany…nationality is never an issue; the interaction and humor is strikingly similar.”
--Tom Higgins
Chief Executive Officer
Prosetta Corporation

"The support from OEWD has contributed significantly to the successful opening of our North American headquarters in your beautiful City." 
--Tom Wright
General Manager
Cathay Pacific Airlines



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