Growing a business is challenging. Competition comes from home and abroad. Government regulations increasingly impact the bottom line. Businesses must continue to do more with less.
For more than 160 years, the Chamber has helped grow local business and the regional economy through public policy advocacy, business and professional development programs and economic development.
Chamber membership is a proven investment in growing your business and creating a better community. Membership allows your business – and all its employees – to benefit from the work of the Chamber, as we fulfill our mission to attract, develop and retain business in San Francisco.
CHAMBER BY THE NUMBERS
The Chamber represents:
• 1,500 members
• 200,000 employees
• Companies of every size and industry, from every neighborhood in San Francisco and around the Bay Area
• Small Business: 85 percent of Chamber members have fewer than 250 employees
The Chamber delivers:
• 1 million annual referrals to member companies via phone, website, staff and programs
• 250 annual programs and events
• 5,000 subscribers to the Chamber's weekly e-newsletters, EventFlash and San Francisco Business This Week
• 2,000 subscribers to the Chamber's quarterly newsletter, San Francisco Business This Quarter
• 30,000+ unique monthly page views at SFChamber.com
• Credibility with voters: 35% of city voters follow the Chamber's lead on ballot recommendations
Advancing a Better Economic Future
As the leading advocate for business in San Francisco, the Chamber works to create and sustain a favorable business environment in which all businesses can grow and prosper. The Chamber’s advocacy agenda (available at SFChamber.com) prioritizes jobs and business growth to ensure sustained economic prosperity in San Francisco.
The Chamber is proud to have a proven track record in championing the needs of businesses and advancing public policies that help to grow jobs and the local economy. Some of our recent accomplishments include:
• Successfully advancing incentives to help businesses grow, including the Biotech Payroll Tax Exclusion, which has attracted more than 3,000 life science jobs to the city; the Mid-Market Payroll Tax Exemption, which is providing a successful incentive for locating businesses in this long-dormant commercial corridor; a six-year payroll tax exclusion on employee stock options for pre-IPO technology companies; a Payroll Tax Incentive for small businesses that create new jobs; and many more job-boosting policies and incentives.
• Derailing and defeating multiple tax and regulatory issues harmful to business, including new taxes on alcohol and commercial rents, as well as tax increases on parking and hotels. The Chamber also defeated a costly drug take-back program for local pharmacies, worked with city officials to reform the city’s Health Care Security Ordinance without harming local businesses, defeated an unnecessary cell-phone labeling mandate that would have harmed local retailers; and fought a ban on the Yellow Pages, which would have eliminated a critical marketing tool for local small business.
• Championing quality of life reforms such as Civil Sidewalks, which is helping to quell aggressive street behavior in commercial corridors, and other initiatives to address aggressive panhandling. The Chamber was also involved in Muni Reform and other efforts that continue to have a positive impact on local merchants, residents and visitors.
• Helping gain approval for economy-boosting development projects including the Hunters Point Shipyard, Treasure Island Naval Station and the Parkmerced redevelopment, which together will create more than 50,000 jobs. The Chamber continues to support economy-boosting developments such as a Golden State Warriors Waterfront Arena, the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) rebuild, the Transbay Transit Center and several other developments.
• Helping to secure the America’s Cup for San Francisco by supporting the city’s winning bid and partnering with the America’s Cup Event Authority to maximize the participation of local business in Cup-related procurement opportunities. The series of sailing regattas is estimated to generate thousands of jobs and contribute tens of millions of dollars to the regional economy.
• Championing good governance initiatives and helping to improve government efficiency by supporting measures such as Proposition C, which ushered in historic pension reform after gaining voter approval in November 2011.
• Joining with leading business organizations across California to support statewide projects and issues including Redistricting, Term Limit Reforms, Pension Reform, High-Speed Rail, the state budgeting process, education, water and many other issues.
• Connecting our members with top lawmakers at the federal, state and local level through ongoing advocacy, legislative trips and neighborhood business summits. In 2012, the Chamber connected our members with officials including: U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy; Senator Dianne Feinstein; Congressmembers Jackie Speier and John Garamendi; California State Senator Mark Leno; California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; San Francisco Board Supervisors and many others.
Public Policy Programs
In addition to the ongoing advocacy the Chamber provides for its members and the broader business community, the Chamber offers a wide variety of programs and events giving members access to elected and appointed officials, as well as resources to assess key policy issues impacting business.
Public Policy Forums: Monthly noontime forums connecting members with city leaders and subject-matter experts in a facilitated dialogue about issues of concern to the business community.
Supes for Lunch: Monthly luncheon series bringing members together with different members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in an informal discussion focused on pressing policy issues.
Legislative Trips: Annual legislative trips to the State Capitol and Washington, D.C. meeting with top lawmakers and administration officials to advocate for San Francisco and discuss state and federal policies impacting local businesses.
Paychecks & Pink Slips Scorecard: Award-winning bi-annual legislative scorecard, ranking the performance of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on their actions to create jobs, grow the economy and improve government efficiency.
SF Forward Political Action Committee (PAC): Ongoing political advocacy through the Chamber’s PAC, SF Forward, to advance initiatives that strengthen the local economy, improve the business climate, streamline the operation of government and promote sound economic policy in San Francisco.
SF FORWARD POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
The Chamber’s SF Forward Political Action Committee (PAC) is the political voice for San Franciscans who believe sound economic policy is the key to creating an exceptional quality of life for all in the city. The PAC serves as the engine behind the Chamber's public policy agenda. Contributions support communications with city residents though ballot handbook arguments, neighborhood newspaper ads and slate cards, and educational materials outlining the chamber’s position on a wide variety of local ballot measures. For more information, call the Public Policy Department at 415.352.8841.
Connections to Business Prospects & Opportunities
Referrals and connections are essential to every company’s growth. The Chamber offers a full range of networking and business development programs and events to connect business leaders and forge relationships.
Ambassadors Club: Network of active member volunteers helping to engage new and prospective members, while greatly extending their own business contacts and the visibility of their company.
Business After Hours Networking Receptions: Popular mixers bring hundreds of professionals from small, mid-size and large Bay Area companies and organizations to network and build relationships.
Business Alliance: Top leads-exchange program providing opportunities for members to build referral networks, promote their business, product or service to prospective customers – and ask for the order. Participants in the 2012 Business Alliance program generated 100+ leads resulting in over $230,000 in closed business.
ConnectForLunch: Bi-monthly lunchtime networking program enabling members to make up to 100 new professional connections each year.
Member Orientation: Monthly programs for new, existing and prospective members to learn how to get the most out of their Chamber membership. Orientations also provide members with opportunities to network and introduce themselves – and their companies – to fellow members.
Member Savings: Exclusive discounts and special offers on essential business products and services, as well as attractive employee perks for member businesses.
Neighborhood Business Summits: Semi-annual events bring together local merchants, city officials and small business resource providers in each of the city’s 11 supervisorial districts to network, strengthen neighborhood business ties and dialogue about issues of concern in San Francisco’s distinctive neighborhoods.
Women in Business Roundtable: Nationally recognized program connecting dynamic, achievement-oriented businesswomen through speaker-led programs, workshops and mixers.
A Focus on Small Business Small businesses are the backbone of the San Francisco economy. And the Chamber is here to help small businesses succeed. The Chamber, in partnership with our Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC), is an active participant in neighborhood business associations and in the development of grassroots networks to influence public policy affecting the city’s small business community. The Chamber also plays a leadership role in San Francisco’s Annual Small Business Week observance and several other citywide initiatives that spotlight, celebrate and advocate for local small business.
Small businesses look to the Chamber for assistance in growing their businesses and their effectiveness in the market. To help these businesses achieve their goals, the Chamber offers a wide array of professional development, skills training, networking and other programs designed specifically for small businesses. A full listing of the Chamber events and programs is available at SFChamber.com.
SMALL BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL 2013
David Becker, President
Jeanine Cotter, CEO
Steve Fee, Partner
FME Architecture & Design
John Gumas, President
Michelle Horneff-Cohen, Owner
Property Management Systems
Michael Janis, General Manager
San Francisco Produce Market Association
Gwen Kaplan, CEO
Mark Klaiman, Senior Counselor
Jim Mayock, Managing Partner
E & M Mayock Attorneys at Law
Rich McDerby, Principal
McDerby Business Law, P.C.
Elizabeth Shwiff, CPA, Partner
Shwiff, Levy & Polo, LLP
Eric Steckel Partner & Director of Operations
BARS + TONE
Michael Thomas, President
Wheelhouse Investment Real Estate
Jude Winterhalter Vice President of Sales
Pennbrook Insurance Services/CAIB
Signature Events In addition to the Chamber’s ongoing programs, the Chamber hosts numerous high-visibility signature events each year.
Business Showcase: San Francisco’s largest annual networking event featuring more than 150 exhibitors, live music, catered hors d’oeuvres from top Bay Area restaurants and complementary wine from premier California wineries.
CityBeat Breakfast: The Chamber’s largest event of the year, convening members and springboarding the Chamber’s advocacy agenda. The event is attended by the Mayor of San Francisco and many other leading officials and visionaries.
CityTrip: Annual economic development and study trip helping to shape an agenda to advance San Francisco’s competitive advantage, attract new industries and enhance our quality of life. CityTrip 2013 will go to Chicago, Illinois.
Cultural Exchange Trips: Award-winning annual exploration trips to amazing destinations around the globe providing exclusive access to unique government, business and cultural experiences and opportunities to have fun and connect with fellow travelers. In 2013, the Chamber will lead trips to Cuba and Vietnam.
CityGolf Classic: Annual 18-hole shotgun scramble tournament held at world-famous Harding Park – home of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. The tournament includes networking, a silent auction, reception and dinner on the greens.
Excellence in Business Awards (The “Ebbies”): San Francisco’s preeminent celebration of business excellence recognizing the leading businesses and entrepreneurs that are shaping the region’s unique character and robust economy. Now in its 22nd year, the Chamber has installed more than 125 companies into the prestigious Ebbies Hall of Fame.
Forecast SF: The region’s leading economic forecast and jobs summit, co-hosted by the Chamber and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, is attended by top business visionaries and government officials and provides an economic briefing and preview the city’s future economic landscape.
Resources to Enhance Business & Career
The Chamber offers a variety of professional development programs to help members of every size and industry enhance their business and career.
Business Success Series: Informative presentations from speakers on topics of interest to sales, marketing and business-development professionals, as well as entrepreneurs who want to sharpen their skills.
Job Forum: Weekly free job search and career coaching services sponsored by the Chamber help thousands of job seekers to be more successful and more confident in their hunt for the next great job.
Leadership San Francisco: Ten-month leadership development program, offered through the Chamber’s foundation, helping to educate and develop future community leaders.
Member-led Workshops: Informative workshops, hosted by members who are experts in their field, providing relevant, insightful information to member businesses on a wide range of topics.
Small Business Issues Forum: Informal, monthly brown-bag discussion group for small business members to connect and share best practices.
Spirit at Work: Monthly brown-bag lunch series featuring an informal conversation about ways to incorporate spirituality and awareness into work, business or profession.
LEADERSHIP SAN FRANCISCO
Leadership San Francisco (LSF) is a program of the Chamber’s foundation dedicated to educating and developing future community leaders who are both knowledgeable about the city and concerned with its well-being.
Signature Program: The Leadership San Francisco signature program is a unique opportunity for participants to increase their understanding of the complex social and economic issues of San Francisco. Participants are exposed to the challenges facing San Francisco’s leaders and learn how they – as individuals – may respond to those community concerns. Individuals selected to participate in the Leadership San Francisco signature program explore community trusteeship, the ambition to work for the common good and serve the primary needs of others by holding their community in trust. Ten full-day monthly sessions are held from September through June. For more information about the program and applications, contact executive director Dianne M. Easton at 415.352.8826 or visit www.leadershipsf.org.
Building Legacies: Leadership San Francisco alumni are challenged to use the knowledge and leadership skills they gain through the program and apply them to enhancing San Francisco’s quality of life. Giving back to the community is strongly encouraged and LSF alumni support one another’s efforts. To learn more about the distinguished LSF Alumni visit www.leadershipsf.org.
The Job Forum sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce aims to help people help themselves in their job search. Well regarded as the premier free job search and coaching service available for professionals looking for jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Job Forum offers customized brainstorming and problem solving that has helped thousands of job seekers to be more successful and more confident in their hunt for the next great job. Chamber member businesses can also benefit by listing job openings to attract qualified job seekers. The Job Forum meets every Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. To learn more, visit www.thejobforum.org.
Chamber Publications The Chamber delivers a wide variety of publications that help keep members and the Bay Area business community abreast of key policy issues and the topics most important to businesses.
EventFlash: San Francisco’s premiere listing of business events happening in and around San Francisco distributed by the Chamber. Delivered via email on Mondays to more than 5,000 members and subscribers.
San Francisco Business This Week: The Chamber’s flagship newsletter providing timely information on key business issues and the activity of the Chamber and its members. Delivered via email on Thursdays to more than 5,000 members and subscribers.
San Francisco Business This Quarter: The Chamber’s quarterly print newsletter providing in-depth information on the activities and events of the Chamber, key public policy developments and highlights of Chamber member anniversaries and other news of interest to the business community. Delivered via U.S. Mail once a quarter to more than 2,000 members.
How We See It: A twice-monthly blog from the Chamber President & CEO offering commentary on the politics and topics impacting business in San Francisco. Delivered via email the first and third Friday of each month to more than 5,000 members and subscribers.
Sustaining a Vibrant San Francisco
The Chamber partners with its foundation program, the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED), to promote San Francisco as a great place to do business and to advance policies and initiatives that encourage business retention, expansion and attraction. The Chamber supports the SFCED’s efforts to attract key industries including biotechnology, digital media, information technology, clean technology and professional services.
SAN FRANCISCO CENTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The mission of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED) is to attract and retain business to San Francisco, and promote a business-friendly environment. The SFCED works collaboratively with the city and county of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and other like-minded organizations.
The SFCED works with companies, industry organizations and their representatives to facilitate business location and expansion in San Francisco. Building on the strengths of San Francisco and the Bay Area, the SFCED focuses on domestic and international companies in the biotechnology, clean technology, digital media and entertainment, information technology and professional services industries.
The SFCED is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit division of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Foundation. More information can be found at www.sfced.org or by calling 415.217.5187.
ChinaSF is an award-winning public/private economic development initiative operated by the Chamber’s foundation program the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED) and the city of San Francisco. ChinaSF works to attract Chinese investment and businesses to San Francisco and the Bay Area, and assist businesses with an interest in China. ChinaSF has bilingual staff with offices in San Francisco, Beijing and Shanghai. Since its founding in 2008, ChinaSF has facilitated and supported the expansion of 10 Chinese companies in San Francisco, bringing more than 120 jobs and significant investment to the city. More information on ChinaSF is available at www.sfced.org.
2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President, San Francisco Chronicle
Vice President/Public and Government Affairs Delta Dental of California
Senior Vice President/Corporate Marketing San Francisco Giants
Eunice Azzani, Emeritus
President, Philippe Becker
Partner, Bain & Company, Inc.
Director of Corporate Communications William Sonoma Inc.
Manager/State Government Affairs Chevron Corporation
Regional Vice President – External Affairs AT&T California
Lee Blitch, Emeritus
President Lennar Urban Bay Area Division
Executive Vice President N. California City National Bank
Vice President/Government Affairs Charles Schwab
CEO, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
Jay Cahill Jr., Emeritus
Chair & CEO, Cahill Contractors Inc.
Chief Financial Officer, McKesson Corporation
President & General Manager, NBC Bay Area
Director, Government Affairs, Comcast Cable
Claudio J. Cipollina
Market Executive, Senior Vice President Business Banking Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Michael J. Cohill
West Bay Regional President Sutter Health/CPMC
Robert A. Corrigan, Emeritus
Greg Cosko, Chair President & CEO
Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction
Vice President, Scoma’s Restaurant
Senior Vice President & Chief Actuary Blue Shield
Senior Vice President, Webcor Builders
Partner, Farella Braun & Martel
Steve Farrand, Emeritus
Senior Partner, Farrand Cooper P.C.
Principal, F M E Architecture and Design
President, N. California Unisource Solutions
Melinda Yee Franklin
Director/Government & Public Affairs Western Region,
Vice Chancellor/University Relations
University of California, San Francisco
Senior Vice President/Partner Cassidy Turley/BT Commercial
Executive Vice President/Regional Manager Wells Fargo San Francisco Regional Commercial Banking Office
Executive Vice President Shorenstein Realty Services L.P.
President & CEO, Presidio Bank
Partner, Keller & Heckman LLP
Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Vice President of Business Affairs & CFO Golden Gate University
Managing Broker, CCRM, MPM® RMP®, Owner/Property Manager Property Management Systems
Senior Vice President & CFO, Virgin America
Publisher, San Francisco Business Times
CEO, Ace Mailing, Inc.
Senior Director/Government Relations Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Sylvia Kwan, Emeritus
President Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning Inc.
Manager/External Affairs & Communications Bechtel Corporation
Vice President & Group Manager, Recology
Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
General Manager, Hyatt Regency San Francisco
Managing Director, Global Securities Lending BlackRock
President, MacKenzie Communications
Founder, Burr, Pilger & Mayer
President & CEO Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc.
Deborah McDonald Messemer Managing Partner, KPMG LLP
Senior Director/Government Affairs & Public Policy, Gap Inc.
Former Executive Vice President/Consultant Macy’s
Vice President for University Advancement San Francisco State University
Head of State and Local Relations/ Legal-Government Relations Visa
Regina Phelps, Emeritus
President Emergency Management & Safety Solutions
Bert Polacci Director, Community Outreach & Government Relations Parkmerced
Chair & Senior Principal, Degenkolb Engineers
William J. Pratt
Managing Director/Client Executive Practice Marsh Risk and Insurance Services
Wade Rose, Immediate Past Chair
Vice President/External & Government Relations Dignity Health
President San Francisco Division Clear Channel Outdoor
Partner Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Rhea Serpan, Emeritus
Principal, Bars + Tone
Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Partner Hanson Bridgett LLP
Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Senior Vice President/Regional Manager Union Bank
Vice President/Managing Director, HOK
General Manager/VP Entercom Communications
President, US Bank
Market Manager/Senior Vice President Chase Bank
Managing Principal, Gensler
Director/Public Affairs, Kaiser Permanente
Jim Wunderman, Emeritus
President & CEO, Bay Area Council