San Francisco Redevelopment Agency


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201-002.09-002                                                                       Meeting Date of March 3, 2009

 

                                                           

INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM

TO:                  Agency Commission

FROM:            Fred Blackwell, Executive Director

SUBJECT:      Update on the outcome of Cycle I of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District Community Benefits Fund Grant Program. 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this Informational Memorandum is to update the Agency Commission on the outcome of the first cycle of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District Community Benefits Fund Grant Program (“FJPD CBF “or the “Grant Program”).

At the Commission meeting of July 10, 2008, the Commission authorized the Grant Program for the issuance of grants in an amount not to exceed $25,000, with a total aggregate amount not to exceed $360,000 from the Western Addition A-2 Project Area budget.  In addition, the Executive Director was authorized to select a consultant and execute a Personal Services Contract to provide outreach, workshop training and technical assistance to potential applicants, and to assist Agency staff in administering the Grant Program.  At the September 2, 2008 Commission meeting the Executive Director was further authorized to invite individuals to serve on the Grant Program Selection Committee.

DISCUSSION

Objectives of the Grant Program

The objective of the Grant Program is to provide start-up or expansion capital in the form of “micro grants” not to exceed $25,000 to existing nonprofit organizations, for profit businesses (including kiosks), and startup businesses that will benefit the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District (“District”).  The purpose of the Grant Program also includes expanding business and employment opportunities: (i)  for communities historically disenfranchised by the Redevelopment Agency; and (ii) that reduce the income disparities that exist in the Project Area, particularly in government housing complexes.  Grant applicants must be able to show how the proposed activity will benefit the District.

The goal of the Grant Program is to attract new businesses and to encourage retail activity that provides a needed/desired service within the District in order to increase foot traffic and to create a viable commercial core by providing retail services, jobs and a safe environment. The grants will be made available to eligible participants in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $25,000.

 

 

201-002.09-002                                                                       Meeting Date of March 3, 2009

Page 2

Grant Application Process

Project Area residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive Grant Funds. Interested parties were required to submit an application during the Grant Program Eligibility Period and attend the required orientation and workshops. Specific eligibility requirements and uses related to the grant funds are in Attachment A of this memorandum. After completing the required orientation workshop which explained the grant application process to prospective applicants, Urban Solutions, the Grant Program consultant, delivered a series of business development workshops and assisted applicants with the preparation of a three to five page business plan.  The entire process is defined in Attachment B of this memorandum.

Grant Selection Committee

The CBF Grant Selection Committee is comprised of the following members:

  • London Breed, Agency Commissioner
  • Rick Swig, Agency Commissioner
  • Sandy Mori, Western Addition Citizens’ Advisory Committee
  • Noni Richen, Western Addition Citizens’ Advisory Committee
  • Bob Davis, Executive Director Entertainment Commission
  • Patricia Scott, Executive Director Booker T. Washington Community Center 
  • Amabel Akwa-Asare, Agency Staff

 All serve at the invitation of the Executive Director.  The Grant Selection Committee has the authority to approve, disapprove or approve in part a grant application.  The decision of the Grant Selection Committee on a grant application is final.

Grant Selection Committee process

  • The Grant Selection Committee met a total of six times.  The first meeting was an orientation where the members received background on the Grant Program, and a binder which contained all the materials that had been provided to the participants during the workshop series.   At the end of the orientation meeting, committee members were given the eligible forty-six (46) proposals and charged with reading the proposals and giving thought to the selection process that they would implement to determine successful grantees. Committee members evaluated grant proposals based on the following  qualifying criteria:

a) The project will generate foot traffic in the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District;

b) The project has sound financial projections;

c) The project is community based; and

d) The project is feasible and can be marketed.

201-002.09-002                                                                       Meeting Date of March 3, 2009

Page 3

The remaining meetings were held between January 14 and February 5, 2009.  The details of this process are contained in Attachment C of this memorandum.

On February 5th, 2009 the Grant Selection Committee met to determine the amounts that would be granted to each of the final fourteen applicants. At this point, the Committee reviewed the proposals, and any clarifying documentation that had been solicited and presented; reviewed the applicant’s interview and considered additional qualifiers.

Committee members voted on the final amount for each applicant; and a tally of the total funds granted in the first cycle was taken. The first cycle of the Community Benefits Grant Program totaled $254,500.  A complete list of the awardees and grant amounts can be found in Attachment D.

The proposals which were awarded funds in this cycle by the Grant Selection Committee were forwarded to Urban Solutions for appropriate notification of the award and information regarding next steps.  The remaining proposals not funded in this cycle will be retained for consideration in Cycle II of the grant process.  A copy of the award letter can be found in Attachment E of this memorandum.

Cycle II of the Grant Program begins on March 3, 2009 and is scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2009.  Public Orientation dates for Cycle II are:  March 3rd, 5th and 9th, 2009 and will be held at the West Bay Conference Center located at 1290 Fillmore Street.  Important dates for Cycle II grant process are contained in Attachment F of this memorandum.

 

(Originated by: Gaynell Armstrong-McCurn, Project Manager, WA-A2, and Andrea Baker, Assistant Project Manager, WA-A2)

 

 

Fred Blackwell

Executive Director

 

 

Attachments:   A - Eligible Participants and Uses for Grant Funds

                        B - Grant Application Process

C - Grant Selection Committee process

D - List of Grant Awardees

E – Copy of Award Letter

F- Cycle II Important Dates

Attachment A

Community Benefits Fund Grant Program

Eligible Uses of Funds, Applicant Eligibility & Activities that Benefit the District

 

ELIGIBLE USES FOR GRANT FUNDS

The Grant funds may be used for any of the following:

  • Start up expenses
  • Operating expenses (this may include up to three months of payroll expenses)
  • Marketing activities including: design and printing of marketing materials, fees for listings, advertising and promotional activities
  • Purchase of inventory
  • Purchase of equipment/furniture
  • Tenant improvements/Façade improvements
  • Lease deposit
  • Fiscal agent fees
  • Uses similar in character or nature as those listed above as determined by the Grant Selection Committee

INELIGIBLE USES FOR GRANT FUNDS

The Grant Funds may not be used for any of the following:

  • Refinance existing debt
  • Pay off existing debt
  • Pay off delinquent taxes
  • Purchase of real estate
  • Purchase of vehicles
  • Events designed as benefits or fundraising events
  • Uses similar in character or nature as those listed above as determined by the Grant Selection Committee

APPLICANTS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE GRANT FUNDS

Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive Grant Funds (subject to the availability of funds) if they submit an application during the Grant Program Eligibility Period, attend the required workshops and meet all of the following criteria:

For Individual Applicants (Startup Businesses)

  • Must be a resident of the Project Area
  • Must desire to create a startup business that will benefit the District
  • Must submit a complete Grant Application (Attachment 1)
  • Must submit a 2 – 3 page business plan with the application
  • Must have attended workshops as required by the Grant Program
  • Applicant must have applied for and received all necessary licenses and permits to legally open and run the startup business (However, this requirement may be waived by the Grant Selection Committee if the Grant Funds are needed to apply for said licenses and permits.)

For Business and Nonprofit Applicants

  • The business or nonprofit must be located in the Project Area
  • The business or nonprofit must plan to offer a new product or service that will benefit the District
  • Must submit a complete Grant Application
  • Must submit a 3 – 5 page business plan with the application which: (i) demonstrates a growing market opportunity; and (ii) introduces a new product, idea, event or service that has the potential to foster economic growth through revenue generation and/or job creation or retention.
  • Must have attended workshops as required by the Grant Program
  • Business must be registered with City & County of San Francisco’s Tax Collector for a Business Tax Registration Certificate and have appropriate permits in place
  • Grant Agreement must be executed by a company founder, CEO, President or other appropriate executive of the business or nonprofit organization

For Kiosk Applicants

Kiosk applicants must meet all of the criteria listed above for business and nonprofit applicants.  In addition, kiosk applicants are subject to the following additional criteria:

  • No more than two (2) kiosk applicants will receive Grant Funds under the Grant Program
  • The kiosks must be located within the District
  • The kiosks can not be located within a 600 foot radius of an existing business that sells the same items or provides the same services as those offered by the kiosk
  • Kiosk applicants must first file a notice of intent to operate with the San Francisco Police Department, Northern Station (“SFPD”) to get approval for the placement (location) of the kiosk
  • With approval from SFPD in hand, the kiosk applicant must then file for a Permit to Operate with the Public Health Department
  • The kiosk applicant must have both the SFPD approval and the Permit to Operate before being eligible to apply for a grant.

SERVICES, PRODUCTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT BENEFIT THE DISTRICT

The following services, products and activities are deem to benefit the District and are eligible for Grant Funds:

  • A new retail activity that provides a needed/desired service within the District.
  • A new activity that increases foot traffic in the District
  • A new service or product which supports programs or businesses within the District
  • A new service or product that promotes the District as a destination venue for local and global patrons
  • An activity that provides economic stimulus within the District i.e. creates or retains jobs
  • Services, products or activities that expand business and employment opportunities for communities historically disenfranchised by the Redevelopment Agency
  • Services, products or activities that expand business and employment opportunities that reduce the income disparities that exist in the Project Area, particularly in government housing complexes
  • Services, products or activities similar in character or nature as those listed above as determined by the Grant Selection Committee

Grants are limited to one award per individual regardless of the number of businesses owned and operated by the individual, or the number of partnerships in which the individual is a member.  If one business, owned or operated by an individual receives a grant, then all other businesses owned or operated by that same individual would be ineligible to apply for or receive grant funds. 

 


 

 

Attachment B

 

Community Benefits Fund Grant Program

Grant Application Process

 

GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS

 

  • Prospective applicants were required to attend one of four public orientation workshops which explained the grant application process to prospective applicants. Public orientation workshops were held on different week days and in a combination of day and evening times. A total of one hundred and thirty two individuals attended the public orientation workshops.
  • Sixty two prospective applicants attended business development workshops held by Urban Solutions to assist prospective applicants with the preparation of a three - five pages business plan.
  • Prospective applicants attended at least three (3) of the following business education workshops:
  • Understanding Financials
  • Operating Your Business
  • How to Market Your Small Business
  • How to set up a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization
  • Recordkeeping Management for Financial Profitability
  • Time Management/Organizational Skills
  • Accessing Capital
  • Presentation Skill

 

All workshops offered and required to be completed under the Grant Program were:

  • Taught by Urban Solutions
  • Offered at no costs
  • Open to the public
  • Be no more than three hours in duration
  • Provided on a regular rotation (to include AM & PM times)
  • Be offered at a location in the District or at the Agency’s offices
  • Scheduled at times that accommodates business owners operating schedules.

Urban Solutions promoted the Grant Program locally; assisted and facilitated the proper completion of the grant application; and advised prospective applicants on permits and licenses.

 

  • Prospective applicants then submitted a Grant Application form to Urban Solutions along with their business plan, businesses registration and proof of any required permits and/or licenses.
  • Urban Solutions screened the applications for timeliness and completeness; and forwarded forty-six completed applications to the Grant Selection Committee with its recommendations.  The Grant Selection Committee was not bound by the recommendation of Urban Solutions.

 

 


 

 

Attachment C

 

Community Benefits Fund Grant Program

Grant Selection Committee Process

 

 

GRANT SELECTION COMMITTEE PROCESS

 

On December 17th, 2008 the Grant Selection Committee met for an Orientation meeting. At this meeting the Committee members met each other; and were given background on the Community Benefits Program. This included an explanation of where the funds came from; how the Grant Program was created and promoted; and the process leading to the grant proposals that had been submitted to the Committee. Urban Solutions described the business development workshop process and each Committee members was given a binder which contained all the materials that had been provided to the participants during the workshop process. This was done to fully apprise the Committee of the resources and information provided to each participant to assist in their grant proposal preparation.

 

At this meeting staff reviewed the Evaluation Form developed to assist Committee members in the assessment of the proposals. The Committee also met with the Director and discussed and clarified their understanding of the intention of the grants.  At the end of the Orientation meeting Committee members were charged with reading the proposals and giving thought to the selection process that they would implement to determine successful grantees. The next meeting of the Grant Selection Committee was set for January 14th, 2009.

 

On January 14th, 2009 the Grant Selection Committee met to devise a process for their decision making. After extensive discussion amongst themselves the Committee agreed to the following process:

 

  • Each Committee member would read all forty-six grant proposals
  • Each member would select those grant proposals that they felt did not sufficiently meet several of the following principal qualifying criteria: a) The project would generate foot traffic in the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District b) the project has sound financial projections; c) the project is community based; and d) the project is feasible and could be marketed.
  • Each Committee member would then emailed their list of the above selected grant proposals to a single SFRA staff person.
  • The Agency staff person was charged with presenting the final scores to the Committee at their January 21st, 2009 meeting.

At the January 21st, 2009 meeting the Committee members reviewed and discussed the results of the individual scores. After review the Committee agreed to a list of eighteen applicants to be invited for interviews with the Committee.  On January 28th & February 4th, 2009 interviews were conducted with seventeen of the eighteen aforementioned applicants. Each applicant was allocated ten minutes. Grant applicants were advised in advance to prepare a three to five minute presentation that introduced their business, expressed why their project would benefit the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District and how the funds if granted, would be used. The Grant Selection Committee would then have five to seven minutes to ask the applicant questions pertaining to their proposal.

 

The Grant Selection Committee developed three clarifying questions to be asked of each interviewee. These questions were:

  • What makes your project feasible, and what does it specifically do to benefit the District with regard to: a) Increasing foot traffic; and b) Benefitting the Jazz District?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your financial plan?
  • How does your project provide value to the community, through employment and economic stimulus; and how does it balance the needs of the community, and impact the retail mix of the Fillmore commercial corridor?

After each round of interviews the Grant Selection Committee reviewed applicant’s presentation and responses to the clarifying questions, as well as any others that had been directed to them, and determined whether there were applicants that clearly did not fulfill the intention of the Grant Program. On occasion, Urban Solutions was directed to solicit additional information and documentation from interviewees to clarify statements made in their proposals and presentations. This requested information was provided by Urban Solutions at the February 5th meeting. Fourteen applicants advanced to the final phase of the Grant Selection Committee’s decision making.

 

At the February 5th, 2009 the Grant Selection Committee met to determine the amounts that would be granted to each of the final fourteen applicants. At this point, the Committee reviewed the proposal, any clarifying documentation that had been solicited and presented; discussed the applicant’s interview and considered additional qualifiers, i.e. Was the applicant disenfranchised?  Did the project generate additional jobs? Did the applicant hold a business certificate of preference?

 

Committee members voted on the final amount for each applicant; and a tally of the total funds granted in the first cycle was taken. The first cycle of the Community Benefits Grant Program funding totaled $254,500.

 

 

                                                                                                                                    Attachment D
 

 

Attachment E

 

US Logo      cbflogo         SFRA_LogoScreenRes           

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2009

 

 

Address

 

Dear ____________

 

Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I inform you of the Community Benefit Fund Grant Committee’s vote to approve your grant request for $ _________________.

 

The Committee was impressed with your business plan and your presentation. We sincerely hope that the funding of this grant request will afford you the opportunity to meet your business goals.

 

To explain the process for accessing your funds and answer your questions, Urban Solutions Small Business Consultant Inem Udofia will be holding a mandatory orientation to the check disbursement process. It will be at __________ (time, date) at the West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore Street (at Eddy).

 

We wish you the best as you continue to grow your business in the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District; and encourage you to continue to avail yourself of the workshops and the free consulting services provided through Urban Solutions.

 

Please feel free to call us at 415.553.4433 with questions or concerns.

 

 

Sincerely,

Helen Branham

Director Small Business Services

 

 

 


 

 

Attachment F

Fillmore Jazz Preservation District Community Benefits Fund Grant Program

KEY DATES FOR THE CBF GRANT PROGRAM – SECOND CYCLE

 

  • Public Orientation Dates                                        Tuesday, March 3, 2009

                                                                                          Thursday, March 5,                  

                                                                                          Monday, March 9,

 

  • Business Development Workshops                        March 9 – April 21, 2009

                                                                     

  • Second Cycle Grant Proposals due                        May 1, 2009

 

  • Proposals ‘vetted’ and delivered to Committee      May 15, 2009

 

  • Committee turns in list of third round                    May 25, 2009

 

  • First Meeting of Grant Selection Committee          May 27, 2009

 

  • First    round of Interviews                                    June 3, 2009

 

  • Second round of interviews                                   June 10, 2009

 

 

  • Final meeting of Grant Selection Committee          June 11, 2009

 

  • Award Ceremony                                                  June 24, 2009