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Invest In Neighborhoods

October 2017 Newsletter

In Memoriam

Konstantinos “Gus” Vardakastanis, Neighborhood Grocer and Community Leader


Photo courtesy of Gus’s Market

The Invest In Neighborhoods team and City of San Francisco join the community in mourning and remembering Gus Vardakastanis. Gus was a dedicated small business owner, immigrant entrepreneur and community leader. He provided healthy and affordable produce to the neighborhoods he served and employed many residents at his three local markets. His welcoming and entrepreneurial spirit will be missed by the many people he touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gus’ family and friends during this time of sorrow. Gus will be missed, but his memory will live on through his lasting contributions to the City he loved. Gus, thank you and we will miss you.

News & Highlights

Japantown Celebrates its New Designation as a Community Benefit District


District 5 Supervisor London Breed, Mayor Ed Lee, and Invest In Neighborhoods in the Office of Economic and Workforce Development celebrated San Francisco’s newest Community Benefit District (CBD) in September. Supervisor Breed and Mayor Lee welcomed the Japantown CBD before a large crowd of community members and local business owners who gathered in the local Peace Plaza. “The Japantown Community Benefit District is an important milestone for the preservation and celebration of the Japanese American community in this city,” said Mayor Lee. Wednesday’s ceremony marks the 15th CBD established in San Francisco since 2005. Read more…

Do Not Miss the Season’s Wrap-up of The Commons on 3rd Thursday


This season’s wrap-up event of a successful series of The Commons on 3rd Thursday is on October 19th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is a free “block party” featuring live music on three stages, roller skating by the Church of 8 Wheels, food trucks, over-21 beverages, games, interactive installations and other activities for all ages in Civic Center Plaza, UN Plaza, and Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Main Public Library.  With Jimmy Buffet performing at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a mini ‘Paradise Cove’ experience will be curated featuring Jimmy Buffett themed activities, art, beverages, and more in UN Plaza. Check out the video and join the festivities, #commonsthursdays

Rebuild My Block to Provide Home Repairs and Renovations to the Bayview


Photo courtesy of Rebuilding Together SF

On Saturday, October 21st, Rebuilding Together San Francisco is partnering with YCAT-C, Bayview Residents Improving Their Environment, the City’s Fix-It Team, Invest In Neighborhoods in the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Friends of the Urban Forest, and the broader Bayview community for Rebuild My Block. This event will revitalize homes within a four block area between La Salle, McKinnon, and Newhall Lane and will include a Fix-It Fair with a number of vendors providing activities focused on how to maintain a safe and healthy home. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to assist in a variety of areas. Click here to volunteer and e-mail Brenna to participate in the resource fair.

Chinatown Crowds Revel in Festivities for Autumn Moon Festival


On September 30th, Chinatown burst with color and celebration for the opening day of the weekend’s Autumn Moon Festival. Thousands of festival goers crowded into the streets to take in the various booths, dancers, beauty queens and vendors on Grant Avenue. San Francisco’s Chinatown boasts one of the largest Chinese American populations in the country and hosts the annual Autumn Moon Festival which is a long-standing tradition in China to honor the celestial sphere that plays a vital role in Asian folklore. Read more and plan on attending the 2018 celebration.

Resilient Bayview Hosts its First Ever Neighborfest


The first Resilient Bayview Neighborfest held on October 7th was a huge success! The Bayview Community came out to have a good time, but they got a whole lot more. The Bayview Community benefitted from the collective efforts of vendors, community partners and sponsors, contributing to the Resource Fair, free lunch, activities and entertainment. Together Resilient Bayview fed over 300 people, promoted 28 health and resilience Resource Fair vendors, trained 45 people in CPR, raffled 30 disaster kits and recorded more than 90 Bayview resident contacts for the Resilient Bayview initiative. Neighbors built friendships, learned ways to access education and healthcare, learned how to prepare for stressful events and much, much more. Read more…

Community Events

Invest In Neighborhoods in the OEWD is pleased to promote the following events. Many activities are free and all events are open to the public. 

Civic Center Commons Third Thursdays and Paradise Cove – Last Event of the Season!



October 19, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Civic Center Commons (UN Plaza, Civic Center Plaza, and Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the Main Library)

This is the last event of the season–there is a great line-up and a Paradise Cove!

Civic Center Plaza Stage


Stompy Jones – 6:30-7:20pm, 7:40-8:30pm

Live DJ – 5:00-6:30pm, 7:20-7:40pm, 8:30-9:00pm


  • Swing Dancing All Night!
  • Cocktail Bar by Off the Grid Markets
  • Bi-Rite Creamery Stand
  • Play Bocce Ball with SF Social
  • Cornhole and Giant Jenga FREE!

Fulton Street Stage


DJ Funklor – 5:00-6:16pm

No Vacation – 6:15-7:15pm

Bells Atlas – 7:45-8:45pm


  • Church of 8 Wheels – FREE Rollerskating
  • Cocktail Bar & Food Trucks by Off the Grid Markets

UN Plaza Stage

Music by NOISE POP

DJ Chad Salty and Sarah Bethe Nelson – 5:00-8:00pm

Vinyl Williams – 8:00-9:00pm


  • “Paradise Cove” – Jimmy Buffet themed area complete with beachy drinks, food, a Blue Hawaii movie screening and more in honor of Jimmy’s performance at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 8PM!

Check out the Art Installation:

“Knitting the Commons” – Yarn Tree Wrapping


On display every day

Visit Knitting the Commons for more details.

Whildewhere? in McLaren Park


Detailed Event Schedule

Last event of the season!

  • Metal Music Festival – October 21, 12:00 p.m.

Undiscovered SF: Filipino Night Market Festival | SoMa


Every third Friday

Next Event: October 20, 6 p.m. to Midnight

Get tickets

Check out the video about the creative thinking behind this event series:


ALSO, watch the recap video of August’s event

Movies in McCoppin

A Movie Every Friday in October

At Taraval Street and 23rd Avenue


Get tickets

FREE Popcorn / FREE Movies / Family Fun

6:00PM: Kids Activities

7:30PM: Showtime!

Here is the movie season’s schedule:

  • October 20, Zootopia
  • October 27, Star Wars: Rogue One


Bayview Pumpkin Patch, a benefit for Project Wreckless


Through October 31, Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4101 Third Street (enter on Hudson Ave.), San Francisco, CA 94124

Visit this family friendly Pumpkin Patch in the Bayview during the month of October.

100% of the proceeds from pumpkin sales will benefit Project Wreckless, helping at risk youth in the Bayview learn tools for life.

BayviewLIVE Festival

FREE: Get Tickets

October 21, Noon to 7:00 p.m.

Egbert Avenue

Imprint City presents the BayviewLIVE Festival seeking to address the digital divide by leveraging tech resources while also attracting an array of notable performers, muralists and tech tastemakers to the Bayview (Sprayview) neighborhood. Visit to get updates, performance line up and to secure your FREE ticket


Rebuild My Block: Neighbors Helping Neighbors in the Bayview


October 21, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Central Bayview Neighborhood (Mendell & McKinnon)

Join the Rebuild My Block event to revitalize homes in a four block area between La Salle, McKinnon, and Newhall Lane. Rebuilding Together SF and YCAT-C will work with seniors, homeowners, and para-transit services to support the development of the Bayview community. They are looking for volunteers with and without construction experience. Click here to volunteer.

Your organization or business can participate in the resource fair, focusing on safe and healthy homes. To participate click here to email Brenna at RTSF.

Everyone deserves a safe & healthy home and neighborhood. Contact Brenna Hull for questions, (415) 905-1611 x204.

West Portal Merchants Association


October 21, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

West Portal Elementary12.jpg

Bayview Butchertown Jazz Festival


October 22, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lane Street between Underwood Avenue & Van Dyke Avenue


Passport 2017 at Middle Polk

October 22, Noon to 4:00 p.m.

2001 Polk Street


San Francisco’s favorite DIY art collecting event is back! Support your local artists and small businesses by making your own stamped passports. Custom designed stamps made by a plethora of artists will be available Sunday, October 22. Find a complete list of the participating artists, cost and more here.This event is presented in partnership by Office of Economic and Workforce Development with media sponsorship by SF Weekly.

Chinatown Halloween Neighborhood Festival


October 28, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Waverly Place, Chinatown YMCA, Willie Woo Woo Clubhouse, Playground


West Portal Annual Halloween Stroll


October 31, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

West Portal Avenue



Events in The Mission

Oda A La Muerte – A Printmaking Exhibition


October 21, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Juan R. Fuentes Gallery, 2958 24th Street

Event details

“Oda A La Muerte” is a group printmaking exhibition paying tribute to Dia de Los Muertos. Featuring work from more than 20 artists, the exhibition seeks to foster a creative dialogue between Mexico and the U.S., with each artist exploring the significance of death from their own cultural and personal perspective, through use of intaglio and relief printing techniques, from etching to linoleum and woodcuts.

Mission Bernal Whistle-Stop Tour


October 27 – October 29

Event details

Join the Mission Bernal Merchants Association for the Mission Bernal’s Whistle-Stop Tour weekend! This program is a series of events taking place during a 3-day stretch with family fun and engaging activities. Meet local musicians, artists, chefs, and brewers. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the Mission Bernal eco rain gardens and enjoy live entertainment in the Mission/Valencia plaza.

Día de los Muertos: Day of the Dead SF


November 2

Procession begins 7 p.m. at 22nd and Bryant

Public Altars in Garfield Park at 26th and Harrison, 4 to 11 p.m.

Event details

Mondays to Sundays at Balancoire

Diverse programming every day of the week: Art and Cocktail Monday, Tango Tuesday, Swing Wednesday, Salsa Thursday and don’t miss out on Drag Sunday Brunch. This and Much More!

Presented by Balancoire Restaurant and Club

Tuesdays, Live Cuban Band at Cha Cha Cha

Son Chévere plays Classic Cuban Music Tuesdays, July 11 & July 25, 8pm to 10pm- Plus Rueda Con Ritmo offers a son/cha cha cha dance class 7pm-7:50pm ($10 fee). Son Chévere features Jordan (Tres), Alexey (Percussion), Maria (Bass Keytar), and Ryan (Percussion)

Admission: Free, Dance Classes $10

Presented by Cha Cha Cha

Wednesdays, Cine Con Cultura

7:00pm: MCCLA Movie Club Cine Con Cultura- web * fb Showcasing Latin American films with English subtitles. Admission: $7

Presented by Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

Thursdays, Mission Community Market

4:oopm-8:00pm: Mission Community Market– web * fb Visit the Mission Community Market is an open-air marketplace every Thursday rain or shine (March-Nov). The market  is made up of farmers, small local businesses, music and culture programming and after-school activities. The non-profit promotes family health and are creating a fun, beautiful public space for the Mission District.

Presented by Mission Community Market– 22nd Street and Bartlett 

Saturdays and Sundays, Mural Tours

Presented by Precita Eyes Muralists, 2981 24th Street

Ongoing on Saturdays & Sundays at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets: $3 – $20

Sundays, Live Salsa

El Rio

2nd and 4th Sundays

3:15 p.m. – FREE Dance Class

4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Live Band.

Admission: $8 before 4 p.m., $10 After

For Additional Events Visit…

Brava Theater –2781 24th Street

Calle 24 Latino Cultural District

Galería De La Raza – 2857 24th Street

San Francisco Mission Street

The NEN Awards Return for the 10th and Biggest Year Ever!


Save the Date: January 26, 2018


The NEN Awards are San Francisco’s way of honoring and celebrating the work of residents and organizations who make our city an amazing place to live.


Please take the time to nominate your local heroes for this year’s award categories (see list below) and remember you can nominate your own group/organization. The nomination window closes at 5pm on Friday, December 1stMake your nominations today.


Also please save the date of the evening of January 26th, 2018. We’ll be opening the event reservation site in November so watch for updates.

Grants, Technical Assistance and Other Opportunities & Resources

Looking for a new job? OEWD Business Services has Resources for You

Sign up to receive e-mail information on job postings and upcoming hiring events by visiting and select the “Workforce: Business Services” option. For more information, contact OEWD Business Services at (415) 701-4848 or




Small Business Development Center: FREE Trainings & Workshops

The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) conducts a wide variety of FREE business seminars for small businesses in San Francisco:

Financial Analysis for Small Businesses

Thursday, October 19, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

455 Market St., Suite #600, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105

This workshop will cover different financial analysis methods, how to analyze your profit and loss report, as well as, how budgeting, statement of cash flows, and cash flow forecasting can be used to track and project future monthly cash needs. Individuals will learn how to use these reports to identify areas where they can increase their profits and business performance, and improve their cash flow management skills.

Click here to register

Target Marketing Strategies

Thursday, October 26, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

455 Market St., Suite #600, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105

Learn the basic fundamentals of target marketing and how to identify your customer. Are you familiar with the terms; demographics, psychographics and do you know what your NAICS code is? If not, you could be missing out on creating customers daily. Learn how to use research information and materials to sustain your company year round. This workshop is for current and aspiring business owners.

Click here to register

Quickbooks Program

Wednesday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

San Francisco Public Library, Main Library 100 Larkin Street , San Francisco CA 94102


The QuickBooks Program is a no-cost workshop being offered to San Francisco based businesses looking to incorporate QuickBooks as their primary accounting tool. This program will cover basic QuickBooks instruction, including: setting up QuickBooks, entering sales, entering expenses, reporting, and other basic functions.

Click here to register

Mastering the Art of Presentation

Tuesday, November 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

San Francisco Public Library, Main Library 100 Larkin Street , San Francisco CA 94102

This workshop will cover the most important skill in business, which is the ability to communicate effectively. This session is designed for any businessperson who wants to differentiate themselves and achieve more consistent results in their formal and informal presentations. We will explore communication styles and how they enhance or take away from one’s effectiveness.

Click here to register


Sign up for the SF SBDC Newsletter


Correction & Deadline Extended: Cultural Equity Initiatives Due November 1

Some Cultural Equity Inititaives (CEI) applicants may have seen a version of the guidelines that stated that there was a cap for the budget size of fiscal sponsors. This error has been corrected; there is no budget cap for fiscal sponsors; the applicant organization’s budget cap is a three-year average of $1.5 million.

The CEI grant program offers grants up to $100,000 to small and mid-sized arts organizations for capacity-building initiatives that ensure the artistic and cultural vitality and the sustainability of San Francisco’s arts organizations that are deeply rooted in historically marginalized communities.

New deadline is Wednesday, November 1 at 12 noon.

Learn more!

Deadline: Creative Space and Arts for Neighborhood Vitality Due October 25

The Creative Space (CRSP) grant program supports the enhancement of San Francisco cultural facilities through Planning and Facility Improvement Grants. Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV) grants support small, neighborhood- centered, publicly accessible art walks and festivals where art and culture are main components.

Applications are due Wednesday, October 25, at 12 noon.

Get Started!

Deadline Extended: Treasure Island Phase 1 Public Art Opportunities Due October 20

Now accepting applications for the Treasure Island Arts Master Plan implementation of Phase 1, which includes projects for large-scale, site-specific art installations at Building 1 Plaza ($1 million), Waterfront Plaza ($2 million) and Yerba Buena Hilltop Park ($2 million).

This is a high profile and unparalleled opportunity for artists to create bold and imaginative large-scale sculpture for prominent locations on Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island concurrent with the island-wide redevelopment.

New deadline is Friday, October 20, 2017, 9:59 p.m. PDT/ 11:59 p.m. CT

Get more info! 

2018 Grant Applications Due 

Over $3 million is available in grant funds for small to mid-sized nonprofits and individual artists based in San Francisco. Applications are due on a rolling basis this month, so check out the grant categories for more information about applying! Applications are available through our online grant management system.


APPLY SOON! Artist in Residence with SF Planning

Application Deadline is October 19, 11:59 p.m. by email

Bay Area artists are invited to submit a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for our new Artist in Residence (AIR) initiative. The SFAC Galleries will place one artist in residence with our City partner, the SF Planning Department, for ten weeks (five hours a week) in early 2018. This pilot residency marks our commitment to leveraging our unique resources to provide artists with opportunities to participate in and activate around the advancement of civic dialogue.



Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center









October 31, 9:00 a.m. to Noon

San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Co-hosted by HSN and the S.F. Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE)

HSN and OSLE will host our second overview of San Francisco wage and benefit laws, particularly for nonprofits with city contracts. The target audience for this workshop is nonprofit executives and H.R. professionals. More info, including how to register, will be available soon.

The workshop will take place in Koret Auditorium from 9:00 to 12:00 noon. OLSE and other relevant City staff also will be available to provide individual technical assistance from 9:00 to 12:00 noon in the Main Library’s Latino Room.

Get more information and REGISTER at

Addition inquiries can be directed to



Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion

The 2017 application period for the Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion is now open. To apply, please download the Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion Application 2017 (found below in the Downloads section on this page) and follow the instructions provided.

The Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion (the “Exclusion”) permits persons maintaining a fixed place of business within the Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area (the “Area”) and that meet the requirements of section 906.3 of the Business and Tax Regulations Code (the “Code”) to exclude a portion of their payroll expense from the payroll expense tax base for up to six years from the later of May 20, 2011, and the date the person commenced business in the Area. However, the Exclusion expires on May 20, 2019, and may not be taken after that date.



SF Minimum Wage Increases to $14.00 Effective July 1, 2017

Paid Parental Leave Ordinance started on January 1, 2017; Employers with 35 or More Employees are

Required to Comply Beginning July 1, 2017.

Learn more:

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Office of Economic and Workforce Development | City Hall, Room 448, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102