Get Involved!

There are many ways to participate in our work. Monthly ESABA hosts networking at the lunch hour. On the second Thursday of each month you’ll find Members and guests gathered at an ESABA Member Meeting or East Side Lunch Bunch. Go to our calendar here to find your next opportunity to join us!

ESABA’s Board of Directors has formed three Action Teams to further involve members in the work we do. They are the Membership Committee, Programs Committee, and Policy Committee. These committees drive the programing and initiatives of the association. Learn more and contact our Director with ways you can get involved!

Membership Committee

The City of St. Paul estimates there are between 2-3000 businesses on the East Side. In 2018, ESABA had 114 members. The East Side is full of emerging businesses, many owned by women, immigrants, and people of color, and first time entrepreneurs. We think businesses could be better served and the East Side be more likely to get it’s fair share of resources and attention, and have a stronger voice if there are more members in this Association.

Building strong business that can last is also key, we are exploring how members can do more business with each other and drive sales and build a stronger East Side community by doing business within the East Side.

We are putting forward a bold goal to grow ESABA members to 300 members. We are meeting to put together ways our member value could include deals at each participating member. See the Member Deals to see how we’re doing.

 Join our Committee! We meet monthly!

Programs Committee

There are so many things to know and learn about running a business. Some of the best resources for any business owner are other owners. But sometimes it's tough to meet and connect and build the kind of relationships that are most valuable.

We want to connect businesses with each other, and reach out to build knowledge among our businesses using resources from our city to build a network that can assist businesses in finding the information and advice they need to be successful.

We are the group that helps plan and pull off all the Member Meetings and Lunch Bunches. We have organized the calendar this year to have one networking opportunity at lunchtime each month, alternating between lunch bunch and Member Meeting. we're considering offering some afterhours opportunities so stay tuned.

For Education we have put together a list of possible topics. These will be in a longer format then our member meetings so we can really dig into the topic. Watch our calendar or contact our Director to learn about the Topics we have coming up.  Join our Committee! We meet monthly.

Policy Committee

The ESABA Policy Committee convenes to talk about upcoming policy changes that will impact our member businesses. This committee is currently being developed by our Executive Committee. We have been a part of many policy issues including an increase to the minimum wage, a sustainable to go packaging ordinance, two major transit developments and the planning cycles for comprehensive plans and small area plans. Additionally there are many issues that our members are concerned about that could be better addressed at the policy level including health insurance for their employees, property taxes, access to operating capital, to name a few. Contact us to learn more about how you can help advance this important arena.

The whole East Side - Many industries, many histories, many sizes of business… how do we span all of this? Our goal is to bring business owners into conversation with each other to share their immense energy, varied experiences, and desire to see the East Side thrive. These business owners are the key to the knowledge that is needed for each of them to succeed.

Caucuses are a way we are seeking to bring businesses together to talk to each other - ESABA has a goal to engage and learn from the entreprenuers and business owners on the East Side. One way we are doing that is inviting business owners from the Latino Community and the Hmong Community to meet among themselves on topics of interest or concern. These business help inform our work and create a collaborative climate to raise issues that they can better work on together than they can alone.These caucuses are not exclusive for members and they are not formalized on our calendar. They are the initiative of members of our board and community to engage businesses in broader conversation that impacts our community.

Our Latino Caucus has developed around issues such as solid waste hauling concerns that led to our first exclusive Member Deal - the Preferred Hauler Deal. We are working on a cultural corridor with the City, better visibility for Latino businesses, hiring and employment needs, and other issues that are emerging. Contact our Director to learn about how to get involved and support this important work!

Our Hmong Caucus is building momentum around issues like the St. Paul Minimum Wage increase, sustainable to go containers, Personal Care Attendant business related concerns, and festive celebrations to highlight the Hmong Community. Reach out to learn more about how we can do this work together.

ESABA’s work with members of our community is in no way limited to just Hmong and Latino businesses. We have members who serve many diverse communities on the East Side. We can see a need for Indigenous business owners to connect and African American businesses to come together as well as African, Vietnamese, Karen, Somali, and more. Our work listening to Latino and Hmong business owners about their concerns is a first step. Join us and help us expand this work of understanding that can help us learn about resources our community can use to build their businesses.