SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) —- San Francisco officials said they’re rebuilding the backbone of the city’s economy one small business at a time. One example is a new specialty shop that opened up in the Mission District this past month with the help of the city’s Revolving Loan Fund.

Sarah Dvorak loves artisan cheeses when she can find them. She figured there were like-minded people out there and thought it would be a great idea to open up a sort of cheese bar, but she quickly learned that many banks she visited for help with a business loan did not share her passion.

“That conversation was pretty short,” she said about her talks about a loan.

So Dvorak turned to the city of San Francisco for help. Soon she was hooked up with the Revolving Loan Fund program. Started two years ago, the program has used some $680,000 to help 27 small businesses get off the ground.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Emily Gasner is the director of Working Solutions, a non-profit microlender that has been put in charge of the program.

“We’re keeping their dreams alive, and they’re really the engines of economic development and job creation in our local communities,” she said.

Through the help of the fund, Dvorak was able to open up Mission Cheese on Valencia Street between 18th and 19th Streets last month.

Mayor Ed Lee was on hand for a special ribbon cutting ceremony Monday and said the program is a success story that needs to be told.

“Out of the 27 businesses we’ve loaned $680,000 to, there’s not one failure,” he said.

In addition, more than 50 local jobs have been created through the Revolving Loan Fund with more to come.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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