The Small Business Advisory Task Force (SBATF) was established in 2018 to facilitate feedback and recommendations to the City regarding proposed changes to policies affecting small business growth, such as procurement and other key items.
The small business community’s feedback allows the City to update and/or adjust its current policies, processes, and programs to best meet the needs of small businesses. The SBATF advises Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, and he in turn conveys the Task Force’s feedback and policy recommendations to the City Council and Mayor.
In addition, SBATF also provides a forum in which small business representatives discuss, share, and learn about mutual items of interest in relation to City operations, policy, and programs that they in turn share with their membership businesses.
According to a January 2018 report of the City’s Community and Economic Development Committee (CED), San Jose has over 55,000 small businesses with 35 or fewer employees, which constitutes 96.6% of all businesses in the City. These small businesses employ roughly 157,251 employees and constitutes 37.5% of all employees in the City. Considering the supermajority of businesses in the City are small businesses and employ over one-third of the workers in the City, the small business community’s voice and feedback is vital to the success of the City’s commercial and economic vitality.
The City of San José formerly had a Council appointed commission that would provide feedback to the City on items relevant to the small business community formerly known as the Small Business Development Commission (SBDC). The SBDC was dissolved with the approval of staff recommendation to consolidate Boards and Commissions at the May 7, 2013 City Council meeting, Item 3.5 – Boards and Commissions Consolidation Ordinance.
Many members of the 2016 City Council wanted to make up for the loss of input from the small business community by reforming the former SBDC. After deliberation, in May 2016, Council voted to establish a Small Business Advisory Task Force with direct reporting to the City Council, rather than a City initiated Commission, due to concerns with regards to staff resources. Council directed City staff to look at an alternative approach in which to organize this task force.
At the October 24, 2016 Community & Economic Development Council Committee (CED) meeting, City staff recommended deferring the task force to the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO) to organize and oversee, which the Council approved. However, many stakeholders from the small business community preferred a direct connection to the City Council and the opportunity to work with City staff on their policy objectives. As a longtime advocate for small businesses, Vice Mayor Jones established the Small Business Advisory Task Force (SBATF) to be administered by the Office of District 1.
For any questions or comments, please contact Raania Mohsen at District 1 at 408-535-4901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Small Business Advisory Task Force is made up of nine voting members representing chambers of commerce, non-profits that provide small business services, and small business owners registered and located in the City of San Jose. Designated representatives may appoint an alternate representative and are allowed the same voting privileges at any of the task force meetings. Election of Officers occurs annually in October and November. Associate Members are non-voting representatives that attend, participate and contribute at task force meetings.
Task Force Members & Alternates
District 1, City of San Jose
Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Chair
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Dennis King, Vice Chair
Lourdes Arvizu, Alternate
FilAm Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Allie Lopez, Member
Marinel Messersmith, Alternate
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce
Ron Gardner, Member
Ray Mueller, Alternate
Silicon Valley Chinese Technology & Business Association
Helen Wang, Member
Khanh Hoang, Alternate
Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce
Carl Davis Jr., Member
Wilbur Jackson, Alternate
Silicon Valley Organization
Mason Fong, Member
Eddie Truong, Alternate
Silicon Valley Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce
Nancy Kieu Nga Avila, Member
Winchester Business Association, Member-at-Large
Ken Kelly, Member
Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce
Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce
Raania Mohsen, Senior Council Assistant, District 1
Dhez Woodworth, Economic Development Officer, Work2Future
Christopher Hickey, Division Manager, Office of Equality Assurance
- Taskforce Appointment: invitation by District 1.
- Meeting Cycle:
- one meeting per month, 2nd Thursday’s, 4 pm;
- the voting membership may decide by majority vote to replace a meeting with an event at their discretion or cancel a meeting.
- Meeting duration: one hour per meeting.
- Agendas: published at least three days prior to meeting.
- Meeting Notes/ Minutes: Meeting notes are optional. If any notes are sent to Task Force members, copies will be distributed within one week.
- All meetings are open to the public.
2019 Agendas & Minutes
Work Plan 2019