In early September the San Francisco Business Portal is moving to SF.GOV. This move is part of a citywide initiative that’s helping departments make their content more findable, accessible, and understandable. Over the past several weeks and months, we have moved all content to our new website, so if you click on an old Business Portal link, you’ll now be redirected to a new page on SF.GOV.
This includes a new Step by step guide to starting a business, and Starter guides for opening specific business types, like a restaurant, retail store, nail salon, and more.
Announcements & Highlights
Reminder for personal service providers who rent space in a salon
All independent contractors who rent a chair or other space at a barbershop or salon must have a business registered with the City.
Street vending permit now open
The guidance and permit application process for San Francisco’s new Street Vending Program under the Department of Public Works is live as of August 16, 2022. Submitted applications are reviewed within 20 days. Vendors operating without this permit may be fined or have their goods confiscated. The initial permit fee is $430, renewed annually for $100. Fee waivers are available for those eligible.
Updates for Shared Spaces
By Oct. 2022: Most 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.
*A grant program will launch soon 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
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.
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 email@example.com
SoMA & Tenderloin
Businesses can receive a free energy assessment and help getting rebates, zero or low-interest financing, and equipment upgrades. Businesses in the South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods are eligible through April 2023.
Excelsior, Portola, Visitation Valley, Ocean Ave. & Noriega St.
Type 87 liquor licenses for restaurants
These are full restaurant liquor licenses exclusively for businesses in select outer neighborhood corridors. The Type 87 application materials are available now, and the application window will be open from September 19-30, 2022. The application fee is $16,650, but unsuccessful applicants will be refunded that fee minus a $100 service charge and any money owed to a California taxing agency.
Excelsior & Crocker Amazon
Helicopter landing drill at McLaren Park on Sept. 12
As part of the annual San Francisco Fleet Week, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management conducts a disaster preparedness exercise with the U.S. Department of Defense to practice how the military may provide humanitarian assistance following a catastrophic earthquake. Businesses in the area may experience traffic, parking, and noise disruptions leading up to the morning of September 12, 2022. Call 311 with questions or concerns.
Legacy Business Spotlight
Latin Bridal celebrates Latino culture and helps keep customs and traditions alive. They sell formal wear and unique pieces that are hard to find, including specialty wear for christenings, first communions, quinceañeras, and other life celebrations.
The Legacy Business Program recognizes over 300 iconic, long-standing businesses
Webinars & Events
Rapid Response: Virtual Info Sessions
On the first Tuesday of each month get help if your business is facing layoffs or closure. Learn about job training, career services, union member resources, healthcare options, and filing for unemployment insurance. Hosted monthly by the Office of Economic & Workforce Development.
First Fridays Preventive Business Law Office Hours for Entrepreneurs
Learn how to navigate through your legal questions so your community microbusiness can successfully launch, survive, and thrive. After an introduction to preventive legal risk management methods and resources, attorneys may answer brief questions. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.
Small Business Commission meeting
Members of the public can join in person or call in to the meeting. Items to discuss include:
Legacy Business Registry applications
Update from the Tax and Treasurers Office on the First Year Free program
SEPT 13 – OCT 18
Renaissance Women Business Center Fashion Series
Join a 6-part series of workshops to learn how to launch or grow your fashion business online. This series will run on Tuesdays from September 13th through October 18th. The first session is “Intro to Fashion as a Business”
SEPT 14 & 21
Basic Bookkeeping: 2-part webinar
Attend two free sessions by the San Francisco Small Business Development Center. The first is “Terms & Process” to understand the components of business and financial tracking. The second session is “Financial Analysis” to understand how to read reports to improve your business.
Jumpstart your business with free tools from Meta. Learn everything you need to know, from setting up a business page to communicating with your customers to managing and measuring your marketing at a training on Sept 15 at Bespoke at Westfield Center.
La Cocina Incubator orientation
The program is for women from culturally diverse communities and immigrant communities. It provides affordable, shared commercial kitchen space, along with technical assistance, access to market opportunities, and capital to launch successful food businesses. Come and learn how La Cocina works and the basics of what you will need to start a food business.
Small Business Entrepreneurship Program
This free, virtual program is being offered by Golden Gate University’s Entrepreneurship Center. You will learn how to build or restructure your business, and succeed based on a business plan and timeline. The deadline to apply is September 16.
Ferry Building welcomes new small businesses
Be sure to try the ice cream collab between Humphry Slocombe and Señor Sisig, Churron flavor.
Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant
Applications open through Sept. 9
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), with community partners, is offering grants of $2,500 each to qualified San Francisco microbusinesses. To be eligible, businesses cannot previously have received a CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.
Host a Phoenix Day Sidewalk Sale
Sign up by Sept. 15
The team behind Sunday Streets is organizing its 2nd annual city-wide Phoenix Day. The event is on Sunday, October 16 from 12:00-5:00 PM. Phoenix Day offers a variety of activations around the city, including Block Parties, Family-fun Hubs, and Sidewalk Sales. Sidewalk Sales will require at least 5 participating businesses in a 1-mile area.
SFO Terminal 2 coffee lease available
The Airport Commission has commenced the Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the Terminal 2 Coffee Lease. The timeline for the RFP is: 1) Attend a virtual Informational Conference on September 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM; 2) Send questions and comments until October 5, 2022 at 2:00 PM; 3) Submit a proposal online from December 7, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. through December 14, 2022 at 2:00 PM.
Did you know?
Get support for Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) and access improvements to your business
Small Business Specialists at the Office of Small Business are available to answer questions about San Francisco’s ABE program and compliance with California and Federal disability access laws. Read more about compliance here.
Apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to be reimbursed for accessible furniture, fixtures, and/or equipment, as well as for a Certified Access Specialist inspection and report.