San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today kicked off Small Business Month highlighting resources and citywide events in support of San Francisco’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. In partnership with the City, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce will bring together multiple events designed for entrepreneurs and the general public during Small Business Week from May 8 – May 12, 2023.
Accounting for approximately 95% of businesses and employing nearly 1 million Bay Area residents, the small business sector is a vital contributor to the City’s economy and vibrancy.
“Small businesses are the fabric of our City and we need to continue lifting up this community in every way we can,” said Mayor Breed. “The pandemic caused the last few years to be really challenging for our small businesses, but in San Francisco we don’t just face our challenges, we grow stronger in overcoming them. I am proud of the way our small businesses have embraced this spirit, which is why I encourage everyone to join me in supporting our small businesses not just in May, but year-round.”
“While we celebrate and support small businesses every day, Small Business Month is a great opportunity and reminder for us all to get out there and show small business owners how much they mean to our communities and San Francisco,” said Katy Tang, Executive Director of the Office of Small Business.
As part of the Mayor’s announcement, she honored three organizations for their work in supporting small businesses within their communities. The 2023 recipients are:
Economic Development on Third (EDOT)
A non-profit organization committed to the success of the Third Street Corridor, which is home to the largest concentration of African American owned businesses in San Francisco. In the past year, they have been instrumental in reducing the corridor’s rate of commercial vacancies, which has led to greater vibrancy and created opportunities for those who live and work in the Bayview.
A community organization that strengthens small businesses by providing them with needed services, engaging commercial property owners, and elevating the neighborhoods profile, all working towards maintaining vibrant and healthy commercial corridors throughout San Francisco’s 11th District.
Connects community, local commerce, and causes in festive, family-friendly events. Sunset Mercantile was founded in 2014 by two local sunset parents, Angie Petitt-Taylor and Laura Peschke-Zingler, fueled by an awareness of the need for a pop-up venue to support the blossoming business ideas of local community members. That original vision has evolved into a much-beloved local destination in which they invite one and all to Come Eat, Drink, Shop, Play, Connect, and be local.
“San Francisco Small Business Week recognizes the commitment of our diverse small business community. It’s an opportunity for us to honor and also celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of our small businesses and our talented workforce and their contributions to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and to our local economy,” said Kate Sofis, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).
In addition to skill-building, Small Business Week is a chance for San Franciscans to come together to celebrate and support small businesses. Recently, the Office of Small Business (OSB) announced a rebranding of the City’s marketing campaign to encourage support of local businesses. Shop Dine SF encourages residents and visitors to shop, dine at restaurants, and get services locally from the small businesses that make San Francisco unique.
“Getting out to eat, drink, and shop is one of the great pleasures of living or working in San Francisco,” said Small Business Commission President Cynthia Huie. “There is something for everyone, from our unique neighborhoods to the City’s center. Shopping and dining locally are joyful, delicious, and important ways that all of us can build community and uplift one another and our city.”
Small Business Week Activities
The 19th annual San Francisco Small Business Week runs from May 8-12 and is presented by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. The City is a partner in this annual event, bringing together multiple agencies in events designed for entrepreneurs and the general public at the following events:
San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) presents free online programs
Webinars like “Starting a Business in San Francisco,” presented on May 10 at 12 p.m. with the OSB, is intended to help new businesses learn what they need to do to register their business and get started. For those needing a boost in customers, “Introduction to Online Advertising in 2023,” presented by the San Francisco Small Business Development Center on May 11 at 12 p.m., shares new tools that make digital marketing easier for small businesses. SFPL is offering seven events over the course of next week.
A “City Hall Pop-up Shop” on May 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. features 40 local vendors. It is a great place to find a gift for Mother's Day, the graduate, a special gift, or a delicious treat.
San Francisco’s small business community is fortunate to have over 350 longstanding businesses on its Legacy Business Registry, the first program of its kind in the nation. The Office of Small Business will host its second annual “Legacy Business Mixer,” on May 11 from 5pm to 7pm. The event is a friendly celebration and a time to connect with some of the City’s most iconic and treasured businesses. It will spotlight host Legacy Business Anchor Brewing Company at their expansive tasting room in Potrero Hill, Anchor Public Taps, along with food from an array of Legacy Businesses.
Experience San Francisco’s Ferry Building in a whole new way. Shop the stellar line-up of businesses, get special one-night offers/discounts, and boogie down along the way. There will be a live DJ and disco costume contest. Wednesday, May 10 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
*Both Shop Dine SF events are produced with financial support from Shopify and Square.
For more information about San Francisco’s Small Business Week and other events happening around the City, visit: www.sfsmallbusinessweek.com.
The Office of Small Business, a division of the Office of Economic & Workforce Development (OEWD), is the City's central point of information for small businesses located in the City and County of San Francisco. To learn more about the services and programs offered for small businesses, visit this website.