LiftFund and the City of San Antonio celebrate Cafe Commerce's stellar first year

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September 23, 2015
LiftFund, the nation’s largest nonprofit small business lender, and the City of San Antonio recently celebrated Café Commerce’s successful first year.  Café Commerce opened in June of 2014 as a collaborative effort between the Economic Development Department and LiftFund to strengthen the local small business community by creating a solid entrepreneurial network of support.
 
In one year Café Commerce;
  • Provided over 1500 hours of one-on-one business counseling
  • Helped an average of two businesses per day
  • Helped new businesses create 78 full-time jobs and 25 part-time jobs
  • Held 420 events attended by more than 2,200 individuals
  • Built a social network reaching over 10,000 followers
“This has been an extraordinary year for Café Commerce,” President and CEO of LiftFund Janie Barrera said. “San Antonio is ranked 10th in the nation for entrepreneurial activity, making it a powerhouse for small business owners. It’s important that we continue to provide more entrepreneurs the opportunity to realize their dreams, ultimately driving our city’s economy.”
 
Located in San Antonio’s Central Library, Café Commerce is a community referral network that provides a broad range of expertise to assist in starting or growing a business. Café Commerce provides quick access to a network of entrepreneurial support business-building services and collaborative opportunities based on the service provider’s criteria. 
 
“Between our referral network, peer to peer mentorship program, and educational curriculum we are able to provide entrepreneurs a well-rounded system of support,” The City of San Antonio’s Director of Economic Development Rene Dominguez said.
 
There is no cost for partners, entrepreneurs or small business to join Café Commerce’s network and any nonprofit, university or government organization that exists to support small business growth can participate as a resource partner.
 
About Café Commerce
Occupying 10,000 square feet on the first floor of the San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad St., Café Commerce is a one-stop entrepreneurship and small business resource center. Café Commerce blends technology, peer-to-peer mentorship, educational curriculum, and other programming and partnerships to make entrepreneurship easier, and speed the delivery and efficacy of small business support resources.
 
A Model City For All America: San Antonio
San Antonio is a model city for the new face of America—a diverse, progressive and globally competitive city with a solid vision for national and international economic development. In 2012, San Antonio was named an All-America City by the National Civic League. The City of San Antonio maintains a strong financial position with a “AAA” general obligation bond rating from all three major rating agencies. The Milken Institute has ranked San Antonio No. 1 on its Best-Performing Cities list. As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio is experiencing solid economic growth in 21st century industries such as bioscience and healthcare. Biotech companies and healthcare systems in San Antonio contribute billions to the local economy. The Aerospace industry remains a dominant economic strength in San Antonio with the presence of several aviation and aerospace corporations, including the military. The military has had a significant relationship with San Antonio for more than 200 years
and is home to several military commands. The city is also a cybersecurity hub; nationally recognized as a leader in the field of information security. San Antonio is positioning itself to be at the forefront of the New Energy Economy in the United States, committed to investing and creating employment opportunities in green industries. The travel industry also remains a consistent growing economy for the city, as millions of people visit San Antonio on a yearly basis. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.
 
About LiftFund
Established in 1994 in San Antonio, Texas, LiftFund is a financial and business-support service organization that helps entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. LiftFund has the nation’s largest microlender portfolio and is committed to providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Since its inception, LiftFund has made over 16,000 loans totaling more than $190 million.
 
Contact:
Rebecca Martinez, Vice President-Communications
(210) 201-8511