small business

Navigating San Francisco’s pretzel bureaucracy

Sep 17, 2015

Starting a small business in the Bay Area can be quite a chore. To be successful, you have to twist yourself into unusual shapes.

Thomas Hawk / via Flickr, Creative Commons license

Last September we aired a piece by Todd Oppenheimer on how hard it is for small business owners to get through the permitting process here in San Francisco

A few of you called in with recommendations for other business owners to talk to, including Ted Loewenberg. He's the president of the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association and he says small businesses owners face a Sisyphean task. 

On the Jan. 11, 2014 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I talk with Kerry Yip about what it's really like to run a Chinese Restaurant. He owns The Great Wall restaurant in Oakland. 

In the program's second half, you can call in for a Workover--Whatever career conundrum is besetting you, I usually can help you take at least a baby step forward, sometimes a big step.

On Today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the future of small business sector. According to small business association firms with fewer than 500 employees provide jobs for over half of the nation's workforce. How do the close ties of both major parties to big business shape their approach to small business?  Join us live at 10am PST or post a comment here. If you are a small business owner, what policies do you support? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.


Jere Glover, the Executive Director Small Business Technology Council

Lorenzo Bynum has the “baller" build you might see on the cover of GQ, without the swagger. He’s clean-cut, 5’10”, wears two small earrings and has a muscular frame. It’s a Wednesday afternoon in Marin City, and the 23-year-old is digging frantically through a 10’ by 10’ closet. He’s hunting for a parachute large enough for a game with 15 third graders.

Wednesdays are busy days for Bynum. He clocks in at three part-time jobs: two hours directing elementary school children, two hours coaching track and field, and two hours coaching middle school boys basketball.

Courtesy of

Michael Bush is a Bay Area Native who works with small, local businesses through a nonprofit called InnerCityAdvisors. He's developed a workshop called “The 8 Factors” to help businesses succeed. KALW's Holly Kernan sat down with Bush to talk about how to make it in a tough economy.