Small Business Ally Program reached 1,100 entrepreneurs in FY 2018-2019
A small but mighty team of two, City of San Jose’s Small Business Allies, personally interacted with 1,100 new small business owners between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Of those, almost 800 small businesses received general information on business registration requirement, home-based business criteria, cottage good business requirements, etc., More than 300 received direct assistance with issues involving the businesses’ permit applications and inspection processes. Of those, fully 170 are up and open for business in San Jose.
The Small Business Allies are Juan Borrelli and Xuan Ha, bi-lingual experts in guiding entrepreneurs through the City’s permitting and inspection processes. Funded by Office of Economic Development, they operate out of the Permit Center at City Hall, but are most often out in the community working with entrepreneurs to get their businesses up and running.
Of the 1,100 businesses they assisted, almost one quarter were women-owned. Of those businesses that provided an address, fully 27% were located in District 3, which encompasses the retail-rich Downtown, Japantown, Luna Park, Alum Rock and Willow Calle areas.
The kinds of businesses assisted by Juan and Xuan ranged from coffee shops, bars and restaurants to high-tech fitness salons, dental offices, video arcades, holiday retail booths for Christmas in the Park, home-based tutoring, auto repair and pet grooming.
In addition to individual entrepreneurial consulting and support, Xuan and Juan conducted 114 outreach meetings. trainings and workshops in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, working with BusinessOwnerSpace, Small Business Development Center, American Planning Association and multiple local business associations and districts throughout the City.
One of the Allies’ most significant contributions has been to establish and continue to implement the City’s Streamline Restaurant Program that provides expedited plan review for new restaurants, reducing the time required to complete permitting to just a few weeks instead of many months.
For more information, visit the City’s small business page