Tenderloin Merchants Association

Activating Now

A low-income neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco can still be equitable and inclusive, with a prosperous and economically diverse local businesses community as its touchstone.

In a neighborhood left behind in the midst of a prosperous San Francisco, the Tenderloin's business community can be a catalyzing force for community development. A Tenderloin Merchants Association can be the platform for merchants to self-organize to advocate for their neighborhood and develop home-grown community leaders. Such an association would address neighborhood-wide systemic issues through coherent advocacy and common purpose.

Small Business Assistance

$50,000 Invested

Strengthening Small Business in the Tenderloin through Targeted Investments

TEDP’s Small Business Assistance program connects Tenderloin business owners to the resources  they need to survive, grow, and prosper in the face of the enormous obstacles created by cultural and linguistic isolation, undercapitalization, and real estate pressure from San Francisco’s growing economy.

In partnership with the City of San Francisco, TEDP builds the trust necessary to work closely with business owners, evaluate business practices, and mutually develop a plan for growth. TEDP connects small businesses to new technology and resources that will help them grow and offer referrals to specialized providers that can improve the operations of Tenderloin businesses. In providing these services, TEDP bridges language barriers within the Tenderloin’s multiethnic business community to establish direct and ongoing communication with business owners. TEDP continues to support sustainable small business growth in the Tenderloin with $40,000 in total investment for January 2018.

Kiva Trustee Loans

$170,000 Invested

Affordable Financing for Tenderloin Businesses in partnership with Kiva.org

As a neighborhood Kiva trustee, TEDP helps small business owners apply for and secure zero interest Kiva loans to build their businesses, including many small immigrant-owned business owners in the Tenderloin excluded from access to traditional loans. Using a "character-based" lending approach, the program builds trust and community connections between the borrower and lender that enriches the entire neighborhood.

Affordable financing is an important tool that businesses need to stabilize and grow. Based on its unique "crowd-sourced" approach, Kiva combines the resources from small personal lenders around the world to fund small business loans. To date, TEDP has helped over 26 businesses in the Tenderloin fund loans totaling $170,000.