Tell us how your business is doing.
In 2020, the San Francisco Small Business Commission conducted a survey of over 500 small business owners to identify their needs and challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission used the survey results to advocate for numerous policy changes to better support small businesses, including the creation of Shared Spaces, permit fee waivers, and easier access to City grants and loans.
Two years later, the Commission is conducting a follow-up survey to measure economic recovery, identify ongoing challenges, and understand how small businesses have adapted throughout the pandemic.
If your business has 100 of fewer employees, please complete the Small Business Commission survey by October 17, 2022.
Announcements & Highlights
Oct 1-11: Many city forms and online payment systems will be down
To better serve residents and taxpayers, the City & County of San Francisco is moving to a new payment processor. Beginning October 1, online payments such as business registration, renewals, and business account updates, tax filings, and other forms will be unavailable as the City makes this change. In person payments and paper forms will be offered during this time.
Office of Small Business staff at City Hall are available to help during this period, at City Hall Room 140, Monday-Friday 9:00-12:00 PM and 1:00-5:00 PM.
Services for micro food businesses offered at Ujamaa Kitchen
Are you a local food vendor in need of technical support of access to a commercial kitchen space? Ujamaa Kitchen Cooperative Economics is offered by En2action, and provides connections to catering and event opportunities, assistance with permitting and licensing, and menu development support.
Get help from the Port during their monthly office hours
Every 3rd Wednesday from 4:00-5:00 PM, staff at the Port are available to answer questions from local businesses and vendors interested in operating out of a Port-owned space.
Free websites and digital marketing support for SoMA small businesses
This offering is by Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Eligible businesses must have a business or home address in South of Market, a business in San Francisco, and your personal income must qualify as low-to-moderate income.
Grants for small business storefronts
The Office of Economic Development and Office of Small Business offer several grant opportunities for operators of storefront businesses. These include design services, construction, accessibility, and vandalism relief grants.
Entertainment and nightlife business survey
The SF Entertainment Commission is conducting a survey of entertainment and nightlife businesses impacted by the pandemic. The purpose of the survey is to understand the continued economic impacts of the pandemic on the industry, the latest needs and challenges affecting the industry, and its priorities for continued recovery. Survey responses are anonymous.
Legacy Business Spotlight: New, simpler, applications now available
We are seeking Legacy Business applications from longstanding businesses in Bayview, Excelsior, Inner and Outer Sunset, Portola, and Visitacion Valley. Businesses from these neighborhoods – currently underrepresented on the Legacy Business Registry – will be given review priority.
Legacy Business Registry recognizes businesses that are over 30 years old, which make up the fabric of San Francisco’s culture and uniqueness. There are currently around 300 businesses on the Registry, which you can browse at legacybusiness.org.
Being added to the Registry is an application process. The benefit to businesses of being added to the Registry includes recognition, marketing and business help, and grants.
Important deadlines for Shared Spaces operators
By Oct. 2022: Operators of Shared Spaces will receive a Compliance Advisory via email. This will summarize the design and placement issues at your site that the City has noted so far. These issues will need to be addressed if you wish to keep your Shared Space permanent.
Nov. 1 2022: All Shared Spaces operators who wish to continue in the permanent program must submit a permit application by November 1, 2022, and include plans to address compliance issues. Applications must be submitted online, and you can preview the application checklist here.
Apr. 1, 2023: The permanent program begins. This is the latest possible date to address compliance issues.
Open now: A grant program is available to help with the cost of addressing the issues listed in the Compliance Advisory.
*Here’s a list of architects, contractors, and builders who have attended Shared Spaces Parklet Design Trainings
Watch a video about safety and emergency access to better understand some of the concerns you may be required to address for your Shared Space.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know?
All Out SF is a dedicated week to celebrate San Francisco and get involved to make it better. Citywide events will span the week ranging from beautification projects, civic conversations & advocacy, arts, culture, and community. It's time we pour some love back into San Francisco!
Sunday, October 16 is Phoenix Day of street festivals along commercial corridors and Tuesday, October 18 is Small Business Day. Small businesses throughout the city are encouraged to participate!
Webinars & Events
Business Plan Webinar / Plan de Negocios (eñ Espanol)
Take an online course offered in Spanish on creating a business plan. Offered by the Renaissance Center.
Small Business Commission meeting
The agenda includes: Legacy Business Applications from 6 businesses. And, BOS File Num. 220970, a proposal by Supervisor Ronen to extend the First Year Free Program to waive certain permit, license, and business registration fees through June 2023.
Construction opportunity pre-bid virtual meeting
Learn about SFO Contract No. 11658.61 – Airport Noise Insulation Program, 2020-2024 Phase, Group 1. This program will mitigate aircraft noise for 29 residential properties located in the cities of San Bruno, South San Francisco, Millbrae, and Daly City.
OCT 11 & 13
Webinar series: How to sell your arts
Join the San Francisco Small Business Development Center for a multi-part webinar series for visual artists. Parts 2 & 3 are “Selling your art online” and “Selling your art offline.” For those who may have missed it, Part 1 is available as a recording.
Running a successful home-based business
“Coffee & Community” is a virtual space hosted by the Renaissance Center, for entrepreneurs to share stories of resiliency, strength, and support during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bay Area Disability Entrepreneurship Week
Four days of events, hosted by the San Francisco Disability Business Alliance. Activities include virtual panel discussions, entrepreneurship training, small business visits, and an in-person networking event.
Financial Literacy Conference for Small Businesses
Hear from Better Business Bureau, Taxpayer Advocate Service, CA Society of CPAs, Small Business Administration and the IRS. Topics include cybersecurity tips, small business taxes, accessing capital, and more.
Accor Group’s Diverse Procurement Connections
Accor Group manages numerous San Francisco hotels, and they are hosting this event to meet local and diverse suppliers to contract with. This in-person event at The Fairmont will enable you to get face to face time with decision makers at the hotels.