In The News

09 May 2012

Paperless Payday for San Francisco

Posted in In The News

Guest Blogger: Jacob Dumez, SF Office of Financial Empowerment

Paperless Payday for San Francisco

Every month, businesses in San Francisco process, print and distribute thousands of paper paychecks and paystubs, squandering precious resources and creating a heavy burden on the environment. There is no time to waste. Now is the time to switch to direct deposit and paperless pay, and the City’s Office of Financial Empowerment is working with SF Environment to make this change easy.

CurrenC SF is a direct deposit campaign that engages employers throughout San Francisco to help increase direct deposit participation. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, nearly 70,000 working households in San Francisco do not get paid by direct deposit. Additionally, 68% of low-income working households are paid by cash or paper check, and almost 20% of local businesses do not even offer direct deposit.

In addition to the waste this generates, paper paychecks can pose real problems for businesses and their employees. Check cashing fees eat up a good chunk of a family’s income. There’s greater risk of loss or theft. And it costs more to process and distribute paper checks.

Paper paychecks take time to deposit and more time to clear – up to several days, delaying access to much-needed income. You may not be able to get your check if you are sick, on vacation, or in an emergency situation. And workers who cash their paycheck are vulnerable to theft or loss. Most importantly, workers who receive paper pay checks often have no choice but to use check cashers and other fringe financial services, costing families more than $1,000 in fees each year.

Direct deposit, on the other hand, delivers pay safely, immediately, and without hefty fees. It saves money and improves productivity for businesses. Direct deposit and paperless payroll can cut costs associated with processing, printing, and distributing checks by as much as 90% - and eliminates the hassle of lost and stolen checks. Plus, it reduces waste and pollution. Simple, safe, smart, and green: direct deposit is a better way to pay employees.

The CurrenC SF initiative, and its website (, offer a wide variety of resources for employers to help increase direct deposit participation. By joining CurrenC SF, employers can access an employer toolkit, marketing materials, tips and tools for communicating with employees, guides to high-quality payroll products and services, access to low-cost checking accounts for unbanked employees, and more. Participation is voluntary, and it’s easy to join: visit and click on “Join CurrenC SF Now.”

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Bay Area, and Small Business Administration have joined Mayor Lee and Treasurer Cisneros in a commitment to a long-term goal of making San Francisco the first city in the country with a 100% paperless payday. We urge you to make this small change with big benefits: go direct, and go green!

05 January 2012

Be part of the growing Green Business movement in California!

Posted in In The News

DTSC Video about California Green Business Programs

Did you know the San Francisco Green Business Program is part of an even larger California Green Business Network (CAGBN)?  With support from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the San Francisco Green Business Program, and other government run Green Business Programs around the state make up the growing green business community in Califorinia.

With the passing of AB 913 that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2011, all government run Green Business Programs that are part of the CAGBN are certified programs of the state. 

What does this mean to you as a recognized Green Business or a business interested in pursuing Green Business recognition?  It means that by meeting the high environmental standards set by the San Francisco Green Business Program, you are officially recognized not only by the City & County of San Francisco but by the state of California!

Learn more by checking out the video posted by the DTSC here.

02 July 2009

Apparently it is Easy Being Green

Posted in In The News

Interview with San Francisco Green Business Urban Fauna Studio

Apparently it is Easy Being Green

Did you know that in addition to running the Bazaar Bizarre and working full-time in science education, Jamie Chan and her husband Blas Herrera also own Urban Fauna Studio, the best little fiber arts shop in San Francisco? It’s enough to make a girl feel downright lazy. Ever the overachievers (and responsible business owners), Blas and Jamie recently went through the process to make UFS a certified green business. Jamie agreed to share their experience with me so we can all become green businesses, too.

First a little background on their business: Urban Fauna Studio sells independently made and eco-friendly craft supplies and tools. They focus on ecologically and socially considerate manufacturing practices, products made in the US and handmade items. They host a growing community of consignment artists and crafters, all of whom are committed to bringing quality handmade goods to their customers. At UFS you can also explore the fiber arts through a revolving series of workshops (see their calendar for details). Blas has a background in environmental science and Jamie is a science educator. Both of them come from families that have long enjoyed the fiber arts, crafting and DIY.

Lauren O. Venell is a product designer in San Francisco, CA.

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