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About Us

The Tenderloin Merchant and Property Owner’s Association (TMA) gives Tenderloin business owners a new voice.  Ours is the first and only Merchant and Property Owner’s Association representing the entire Tenderloin community. TMA’s membership reflects the diversity of the Tenderloin including its many immigrant owned businesses.


The  President of our Board of Directors is Aref Egalli an immigrant from Sudan and owner of Z Zoul Café – San Francisco’s premier Sudanese restaurant. The majority of TMA’s Board is comprised of women leaders from the small business community. TMA’s day to day operations are managed by the Executive Director, Rene Colorado, who has lived and worked in the Tenderloin for ten years. Immigrating from Mexico when he was a young child, Rene grew up helping his father run the family’s small publishing business in California. Rene’s passion for helping small businesses and the immigrant community is rooted in this experience. 


TMA brings merchants and property owners together to advocate for better business conditions by promoting the neighborhood, improving the health and safety of our community, and attracting resources for business investment.  Our current programs focus on:


  • reducing open-air drug use on the streets and supporting efforts to move homeless into homes;

  • promote the neighborhood through special events such as our Thai New Year Festival; and

  • attracting private and public capital to support business operations and improve business storefronts.

Some brief history into the Tenderloin.

 Beginning in the late 1970s, after the Vietnam War, the Tenderloin received large numbers of refugees from Southeast Asia—first Chinese from Vietnam, then Khmer from Cambodia and Hmong  from Laos. The low-cost vacant housing, and the proximity to Chinatown through the Stockton Street Tunnel, made the area appealing to refugees and resettlement agencies. Studio apartments became home for families. Today the Tenderloin has the highest population of children anywhere in San Francisco. 

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