While many of them were trying to stay afloat, a group of entrepreneurs in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco were busy starting their new business.
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The Bayview added seven new businesses during the pandemic.
Imagine starting a new business right before COVID-19 starts to spread. We asked Eleana Hsu, co-founder of “Shared Cultures”, who quit her job to start her own business, how it was.
“‘Okay, we’re going to turn this into a real thing,’ then COVID happened in March,” she explained.
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Hsu and Kevin Gondo quickly pivoted from a retail model to selling their fermented products directly to consumers.
“Instagram has been, social media has been our most direct channel for getting to know the customer,” Gondo added.
These seven new businesses are calling the Bayview their home.
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San Francisco Mayor London Breed met some of the new business owners, including Ronnishia Johnson and Rheema Calloway. Both have launched “The Vegan Hood Chefs”.
“You don’t see black women like us coming from where we are who are vegans, and so we are moving into a culture that is primarily seen as a white culture,” Calloway said.
Most of these new businesses are run by women of color. The mayor visited the Bayview Makers Kitchen, which they all share at different times. Their funding comes from the Office of Economic Development and Workforce.
Funding received by the Bayview Makers Kitchen has focused on two things – creating economic opportunities, even during COVID, and preventing businesses from leaving the Bayview
“We want to make it easier for our minority and women owned businesses to start and start up, and we need to make sure there are places and it is easy to do what they do,” said Mayor Breed. .
A photo with the mayor made it a reality, even in the most difficult times.
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