Get to know business owners in your area through the local merchants association or a Community Benefit District (CBD). Together, you can discuss local issues, collaborate on ideas and activities, and build community. To find out which merchants association is in your neighborhood, visit www.sfcdma.org/our-members.
CBDs, also known as Business Improvement Districts, strive to improve the overall quality of life in specific commercial districts and mixed-use neighborhoods through a partnership between the City and local communities. Learn more about CBDs.
Build a relationship with the Police Captain and officers in your area. Learn the best way to prevent, raise and address public safety issues. To learn who your district Police Captain is, visit www.sanfranciscopolice.org/your-sfpd.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) non-emergency phone# is: 415-553-0123.
San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) is the non-profit community engagement arm of the SFPD. SF SAFE provides services such as:
- Business security assessments - recommendations on how to improve the existing safety and security of the property
- Customized trainings and presentations - on a variety of topics such as robbery prevention, shoplifting prevention, personal safety, and credit card & check fraud.
- Business watch - organization of neighborhood watch groups consisting of store owners in an area
To learn more or work with SF SAFE, visit sfsafe.org.
If you need to file a police report, you can do so online at https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/get-service/police-reports/file-police-report
Here are some tips for preventing and responding to burglaries:
- Register your most current contact information with the Police Department in case officers need to contact you during non-business hours.
- Update all of your contact information with your alarm company and ask them to check to make sure your alarms are properly set. If you don’t have an alarm, install one. One with an audible alarm on the outside of the business and flashing lights to alert neighbors in the event of a break in is recommended. Use window stickers to alert would-be intruders you have an alarm system.
- Have a closing protocol with employees to ensure that items of value are properly secured, and the premises are locked properly in the evenings. Do not leave large amounts of cash on the premises. Leave cash register drawers empty and visibly open. Lock any electronics in a safe that might be tempting targets, such as point of sale systems and tablets.
- Install visible video cameras to both deter a break-in from happening and aid in follow-up investigations. Internal and external Ring cameras are an inexpensive option. Using a Ring camera with a motion activated flood light inside your business is a clever solution. Make any video at the scene available for the officers in a timely manner.
- Speak to your residential neighbors and make sure they have your contact information in case they see something suspicious.
- Keep the business lit at night with energy-saving LED bulbs.
- Contact the police and report any suspicious incidents or activities, such as attempted forced entries, trespassers who enter into employee only areas, persons who appear to be conducting surveillance to determine store protocols and security matters etc.
- In the event of a burglary, call 911 and report it – no matter what is taken. Try not to disturb the crime scene as this will help the SFPD CSI team.
- Be careful what you post on social media that might indicate the premises is unguarded or empty for an extended period.
- Contact SF SAFE and request a security training for you and your employees
Street care and cleanliness
If you encounter issues related to graffiti, street trees, or cleanliness, please reach out to San Francisco Public Works. You can report problems or find resources online at sfpublicworks.org/services/report-problem or by calling 3-1-1 anytime. You can also download the 311 app (sf311.org/help/sf311-mobile-app) to report problems to the City.
Street crisis response
If you see people experiencing mental health and substance use crises on the streets, call 9-1-1. Describe what you are seeing to the trained dispatchers who can deploy street crisis response teams with unique expertise to respond to people in crisis and de-escalate disruptions in the community. To learn more about the Street Crisis Response Teams, visit sf.gov/street-crisis-response-team.
If you see syringes improperly discarded on the street, contact the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's Pick Up Crew for safe collection and disposal, seven days a week from 7:00am to 7:00pm. You can either text a photo and location to 415-810-1337 or call 3-1-1. To learn more, visit https://www.sfaf.org.
Policy and laws
Find out who your local representative in government is by visiting sfbos.org/roster-members. Share with them your ideas, issues and feedback on policies and laws that may impact your business, community and the City.
Chambers of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a business network that connects its members with ideas, resources, and each other. Additionally, while a chamber of commerce does not create laws and regulations, it does lobby on behalf of businesses to get laws passed that are favorable to its members. In addition to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce there are a number of other chambers that support business owners who meet certain criteria. This includes:
- Asian Business League (ABL)
- San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce
- Chinese Chamber of Commerce
- Filipino American Chamber of Commerce (FACC)
- Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA)
- Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (HCCNC)
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HCCSF)
- North Beach Business Association