David Chiu isn’t the only mayoral candidate with business experience 

Board President David Chiu likes to present his small business credentials while on the campaign trail for San Francisco mayor, but at a mayoral forum at the United Irish Cultural Center on Thursday, his braggadocio got him in a little trouble.

Nine mayoral candidates were asked a question about supporting businesses in The City and Chiu started off his answer by saying, “As the one person here who has actually started and founded a small business, I know how difficult it is that The City makes it.”

Chiu, after all, founded Grass Roots Enterprise, a public affairs company for tech companies.

But sitting next to Chiu was Joanna Rees, whose campaign has been mostly based on her experience as a successful entrepreneur. She started the venture capital firm VSP Capital in 1996, which then turned into a multimillion dollar enterprise.

“So, I have also started businesses, except I started them small and they grew large,” Rees said. “So, maybe his just stayed small.”

The crowd went wild over the remark, which was only one of many from the feisty Rees. She also called out candidates for going over their time limit on answers while not specifically mentioning the worst offender (Leland Yee).

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Brent Begin

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