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    GGBA: Facilitating Progress During Uncertain Times

    Gina Grahame

    By Gina Grahame–

    “Change is the only constant in life,” the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said. While it’s doubtful he predicted the COVID-19 virus, his observation on life is as true today as it was 2,500 years ago. As entrepreneurs, we all know that change is not only inevitable, but also it is sought. Because change means innovation, the desire for change is the search to be more profitable, more scalable, and more in demand.

    As uncertain as these times are, the challenge for all of us is to find a way forward. Our goal at the GGBA is to help facilitate that progress. We believe, as member Karla Campbell of 4 Directions Coaching & Consulting said last month at Power Lunch 2020, “The answer is in the room.” That’s why the GGBA is working to create more virtual opportunities for members to connect, discuss, brainstorm, and find the answers and ideas they need to pivot and grow their business.

    We’ve amended the High Performance Accelerator Program to fit the needs that small business owners are facing now. We reformatted it to take advantage of the virtual environment and launched it as the CEO Virtual Roundtable Program (VRP). Created by Collaboration Business Consulting, the VRP is truly groundbreaking: Ten companies are taken through a three-month program structured around the Scalable Growth Model. The model is a tool for business owners to identify barriers to growth, assess leadership gaps, identify opportunity, and track goals and successes in a supportive, peer-driven environment.

    Perhaps most exciting about the VRP is that the entire cost for members is underwritten by sponsors Wells Fargo, Granite Solutions Groupe, the GGBA Foundation, and the GGBA. We relaxed the qualifications for program entry so more members can take advantage of this incredible program. The inaugural class of ten companies is underway and we’re taking applications for the second class to begin in July. For more information, contact 

    More Connections

    Other virtual ways for members to connect are:

    • Make Contacts – They take place on the second Tuesday of each month. Our next event will be May 12.
    • Happy Hours – These pop-up parties are great for laughing and relaxing at the end of the day. Check here, at the GGBA website ( ), and via our social media for days and times.
    • Coffee with the President – This occurs each Tuesday through the end of May. The event offers a great opportunity to learn more about the organization, about LGBTBE Certification, and how to get the most out of your membership.

    More Programming

    Learn the ins and outs of the PPP program from GGBA members going through it, along with officials and experts who will help to answer questions and provide guidance. The date and time will be announced soon.

    GGBA also promotes programming from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). It is especially beneficial for certified LGBT owned businesses and includes “Webinar Wednesdays” and “Sip-n-Pitch Fridays.”

    More Opportunity

    We’re excited to alert members to RFP opportunities from our chamber partners such as PG&E, Southern California Edison, Comcast, and others. Subscribe to the GGBA newsletter and social media for the latest updates.

    “Our business literally doubled from our membership in the GGBA,” said Audry deLucia of ellaprint. And that sentiment is one I’m proud to say I’ve heard from countless other members. Two avenues members can use to promote their business are:

    1. Hot Deals – Found in your account at the GGBA website, these member-to-member specials provide great opportunities and you will soon see the Hot Deals members promoted in our bi-weekly newsletters.
    2. GGBA Member Spotlight – We’re always wanting to help members shine and the Spotlight includes an interview in the San Francisco Bay Times, blog post at the GGBA website, and starting this month, a recorded Zoom interview with me. To get your interview scheduled, contact 

    In closing, l challenge you to use any downtime you have to actively nurture your business; to do what you’ve always done, facing this challenge with the same verve as when you first opened your business’ door. 

    Neil deGrasse Tyson recently reminded us what we are capable of when we put our mind to it, saying, “When Isaac Newton stayed at home to avoid the 1665 plague, he discovered the laws of gravity, optics, and he invented calculus.” Your next business pivot may not change the world, but then again it just might. We’re in your corner and ready to help.

    I look forward to seeing you at our next event.

    Gina Grahame, the Founder and CEO of the Grahame Institute of Strategic Communication, is the President of the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA). Grahame also serves as a Communication Coach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Transgender Advisory Committee of the City and County of San Francisco.

    GGBA Calendar

    For more information about these and other Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) events, please visit the association’s website ( ) or email

    Coffee with the President via Zoom

    May 12 (morning and afternoon sessions)
    May 19 (morning session)
    May 26 (morning and afternoon sessions)

    GGBA President Gina Grahame writes:

    Hello GGBA, I’ve missed you! I’m happy to announce the return of the “Coffee with the President – Zoom Edition.”

    Join me on Tuesdays for either your morning coffee from 9 am–9:30 am, or your afternoon coffee from 1 pm–1:30 pm. 

    During this challenging time, it’s especially important that we stay connected. To talk through our feelings, share our concerns, and to be a sounding board for one another as we strategize the future of our business. Or, as always, I welcome your thoughts on the GGBA.

    Seating is limited to two individuals for each session, with priority given to existing members.

    Published on May 7, 2020