Small business newsletter for February 2023

Updates, trainings, announcements, and more, from the Office of Small Business
February 02, 2023

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Welcome, February! There is a lot to celebrate with many opportunities to support small businesses. Black History Month kicks off and we celebrate the many Black-owned small businesses in San Francisco! Be sure to check out the hot new ice cream shop, What’s the Scoop on 3rd Street in the Bayview and the “In the Black” marketplace (1567 Fillmore St). 

Lunar New Year celebrations continue throughout the month – find events at Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and small businesses offer a variety of sweets, stuffed animals, jewelry, special meals, and more.  

Announcements & Highlights

Farewell and thank you to outgoing Small Business Commission President Sharky Laguana 

Commissioner Sharky Laguana served as Commission President since 2019. Under his leadership, the Commission successfully advocated for a package of policies to help small businesses survive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Shared Spaces Program and the Venue Fund. Commissioner Laguana is Founder and CEO of Bandago, a van rental company that has served touring bands, celebrities, families on vacation, businesses, churches, sports teams, mobile marketing events, film/TV productions and more. His leadership and humor will be greatly missed. 

Welcome to the new Small Business Commission President Cynthia Huie 

Commissioner Cynthia Huie has been an active member of the small business community since founding a men's and women’s boutique, Seedstore, in the Inner Richmond neighborhood in 2010. She served for many years as the President of the Clement Street Merchant Association, and was appointed by Mayor Breed to the Small Business Commission in 2019. In addition to running an oral surgery practice with her husband, Commissioner Huie has spent the last year supporting businesses throughout the city and co-founded Art Walk SF to bring small businesses, art, and community to every neighborhood in San Francisco.  

Flood Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 

San Francisco small businesses and most nonprofits are now eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the SBA. You must have suffered substantial economic injury due to the 2022-2023 winter storms without other loan options. 

Learn more 

Commercial Vacancy taxation begins 

The Commercial Vacancy Tax is intended to encourage business leases and improve vibrancy along commercial corridors. The tax is on keeping certain commercial spaces vacant for more than 182 days (approximately six months), whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, in a tax year. All co-owners, co-tenants, and co-subtenants must file a Return with the Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Office. Notices are being mailed this month. 

Learn more 

0% Interest Loans for San Francisco startup businesses 

Loans are available for up to $100,000, with terms of up to 5 years. There is no interest and no application fee. Eligible uses include: buying furniture, fixtures, and equipment; purchasing inventory; working capital to cover operating costs; startup expenses; refinancing high-interest business debt. 

Learn more at Main Street Launch 


Annual Business Tax Returns (2022) 

Due Feb 28, 2023 

The San Francisco Annual Business Tax Returns include the Gross Receipts Tax, Administrative Office Tax, Commercial Rents Tax, Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax, and Overpaid Executive Tax. To avoid late penalties/fees, the returns must be submitted and paid on or before February 28, 2023. 

More at 

City Hall seeking a new café operator 

Bids are due Feb 24, 2023 

The space contains approximately 1,426 rentable square feet on the ground floor of City Hall with a shared dining area of 1,360 sf. and a minimal secured storage area.  

Read the Request for Proposals 

Extended deadline for IRS and Franchise Tax Board 

Now May 15, 2023 

Californians impacted by the winter storms are now eligible to claim a deduction for a disaster loss and will have more time to file their taxes. Individuals and businesses in San Francisco do not have to request an extension — they will automatically be given until May 15 to file income tax returns and make any payments. The deadline extension also applies to quarterly estimated tax payments normally due Jan. 17 and April 18, and to quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Jan. 31 and April 30. 

In addition to the deadline extension, Californians impacted by the storms can claim a deduction on their 2022 state tax returns for a disaster loss. 

For more information about the federal extension, go the IRS’s Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Business webpage. For more information about the state extension, go to the announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and to the Franchise Tax Board’s Disaster loss deduction webpage. 

New this year: Businesses can use a free online portal to file their IRS information returns. 

Legacy Business Spotlight 

St. John Coltrane Church is a nonprofit faith-based organization whose mission is "to paint the globe with the message of A Love Supreme, and in doing so promote global unity, peace on Earth, and knowledge of the one true living God." They are where the legendary jazz musician John Coltrane is the canonized patron saint. Coltrane Church is a branch of the African Orthodox Church and the oldest Black jazz organization in San Francisco. 
The Legacy Business Program recognizes over 300 iconic, long-standing businesses 

Webinars & Events  


Building Your Marketing Strategy 

This 6-week course will walk you through the marketing landscape, creating a marketing strategy, overcoming the social media mental block, and keeping your content in order. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 

Learn more 


10-Week Virtual Business Planning Class 

Learn business basics, develop networks, and build your business plan with confidence. This class will guide you in creating a practical and effective business plan by providing an overview of marketing strategies, business operations, and financial projections. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 


FEB 6 

Virtual Public Hearing with SF Environment 

The San Francisco Environment Department (SFE) is holding a public hearing on the collection and transport of mixed Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris. During the hearing, members of the public will have the chance to comment on the proposed regulations and supporting documents.  

Learn more 

FEB 6 

Legal Protection for Websites 

Learn about simple online tools to help protect your business, brand, trademarks, and copyright-protected creations. 


FEB 7 

SF City Option webinar 

Learn how to make payments into SF City Option for your employees' health care benefits. More webinars will be offered in March and April. 


FEB 7 

Legal Entities for Small Businesses 

Legal Services for Entrepreneurs is hosting a webinar for people who want to learn more about forming an LLC or being a sole proprietor. 

Sign up 

FEB 9 

Virtual Legal Clinic 

Register in advance for a one-hour consultation with a volunteer attorney specializing in business law. Hosted by Legal Services for Entrepreneurs. Spots are limited 

Sign up 

FEB 9 

Financial Statement Basics 

Learn basic financial concepts and gain insight into the interpretation of your Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Profit and Loss Statement. Knowing these concepts will improve your business planning and the conversations you have with your financial professionals. Hosted by SCORE. 


FEB 13 

Small Business Commission Meeting 

The Commission will review and take action on the following applications for the Legacy Business Registry: La Mejor Bakery, Peña Pachamama, and Tony Nik’s Café. 

Meeting information is available on the Commission website

FEB 27 

Third Party Delivery Platforms 

Grow for food business by learning more about the main third-party delivery apps and how you can use them to bring your business to the next level. This is a virtual workshop hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 

Sign up 

Did you know? May is Awning Month! 

Awning permit fees are waived for small businesses every May 

Apply to replace your awning, signs on replacement awnings, or pedestrian-level lighting and get your permit fees waived during the month of May. This program applies to permit fees from the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), Planning, Fire Department, and Public Works. 

Small business specialists are available to help. Contact to discuss your awning project. 

Learn more