There is a great grant opportunity and other resources

Invest In Neighborhoods

March 2018 Newsletter

News & Highlights

OEWD Releases State-of-retail Report for San Francisco


Photo courtesy of Fashionista

Vacant San Francisco storefronts may paint a dire picture, but new research suggests the city’s retail market is simply at a crossroads—not at the edge of a cliff. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) released a state-of-retail report analyzing the impact of ecommerce, sales tax revenue, vacancies, employment and the cost of doing business in the city. The study was in response to landlords making requests to convert vacant retail space into office use, in particular space above street level. The takeaway from the study is that San Francisco is not immune to the massive changes rolling through the national retail industry, and the city needs to adapt to keep vacancies at bay. However, San Francisco has weathered the national retail storm better than other cities across the country. This can be attributed to the region’s strong economy, support for local shopping, robust tourism industry, limited number of regional shopping malls, and diverse neighborhood shopping districts. Read more…

Small Business Commission Approves Legacy Status for Five Businesses


Photo courtesy of The Plough and the Stars

Five businesses were unanimously approved by the San Francisco Small Business Commission for the Legacy Business RegistryBabylon Burning, The Lab, The Mindful Body, The Plough and the Stars, and Slim’s. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses as valuable cultural assets to the city.

Babylon Burning: 63 Bluxome Street – A screen printing company that started like many small businesses, with a DIY set-up in a garage. The business was founded in 1980 by Steve Patton and has been owned by Mike Lynch since 2001.

The Lab: 2948 16th Street – A nonprofit organization that provides under-resourced artists and audiences with the space, time and resources to experiment with alternative ways of living and working. The organization was founded in 1984 by art students from San Francisco State University.

The Mindful Body: 2876 California Street – A wellness center which provides health and healing services, including yoga, massage and acupuncture to those in the community that seek mindfulness and healing practices. The business was founded in 1994 by Roy Bergmann.

The Plough and the Stars: 116 Clement Street – An Irish pub which has featured live Irish music and entertainment for over 40 years. Founded in 1975, Bob Heaney ran the businesses until Sean Heaney, a former bar owner from Ireland took over in 1981.

Slim’s: 333 11th Street – A live music nightclub which provides a lively atmosphere, good food and drinks, and artists performing Blues, R&B, Jazz, Alternative, Hip-Hop, Pop and more. The business was founded by legendary R&B musician Boz Scaggs in the SoMa district in 1988.

Plan visits to the many legacy business in San Francisco by visiting the Legacy Business Registry or get more information about the Legacy Business Program.

Construction Training Program Provides Job Opportunities to Disadvantaged Residents

3The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and community and labor partners celebrated the expansion of the Mayor’s Gleneagles Academy, a collaborative effort to link to local residents in Visitacion Valley with hands-on job training programs. In January, OEWD’s CityBuild Program launched the newest iteration of Gleneagles Academy training program in Visitacion Valley. The program enrolled 10 participants from programs targeting the most vulnerable populations in the City, including participants at risk of violence, residents of public housing, and recipients of public benefits. The program opens doors to new jobs in the city’s construction industry. “Workforce programs like the Gleneagles Academy are critical to advancing shared prosperity for all San Franciscans,” said Todd Rufo, Director of OEWD. “Breaking down barriers to employment for disadvantaged residents and placing them in union career paths helps build a stronger, more equitable San Francisco.” Read more…

The Accessible Business Entrance Program

4.jpgIs your business a place of public accommodation? If so, your property owner or landlord may need to comply with a new local disability access ordinance called the Accessible Business Entrance Program.

The Accessible Business Entrance Program, established by Ordinance 51-16, requires property owners of buildings with places of public accommodation to make primary entrances accessible to people with disabilities. Places of public accommodation include restaurants, bars, retail stores, dry cleaners, grocery stores, hotels, day care centers, nail salons, gas stations, hair salons, yoga studios, gyms, health spas, hardware stores, medical offices, message establishments and professional offices. (Visit ADA Title III for details about public accommodations.)

Buildings fall into one of four categories ranging from fully accessible to having major barriers to entry. Barriers include one or more steps to entryways, non-compliant door handles and sloping/narrow doorways. In conjunction with a licensed design professional or Certified Access Specialist (CASp), property owners must submit a compliance checklist to Department of Building Inspection (DBI) identifying their building’s category compliance. The first deadline is May 23, 2018 for categories 1 and 2—buildings that are fully compliant or have minor barriers.

Attend an upcoming workshop to learn more:

  • March 30, 12-1pm
  • April 16, 12-1pm

Register here to reserve your spot! Hosted by Department of Building Inspection in partnership with Office of Small Business, SF Planning, SF Public Works, Mayor’s Office on Disability and Access Appeals Commission, this interagency group is working together to conduct outreach and identify streamlined processes for compliance.

For more information

Property owners: Visit DBI’s webpage and review Info Sheet DA-17. For questions, contact DBI (415) 558-6128 or by email

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 Art Installation


Photo courtesy of

“Knitting the Commons” – Yarn Tree Wrapping


On display every day

The “Civic Center Commons” is the collective name for UN Plaza, Civic Center Plaza, and Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Main Public Library. The City partnered with Knits for Life to install “Knitting the Commons” which ties these spaces together through art. Visit Knitting the Commons for more details.

Tenderloin Mayoral Forum April 4th, What Would You Ask Our Next Mayor?


WHEN: Wednesday, April 4th, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., program starts at 5:30 p.m. sharp.

WHERE: St. Boniface Auditorium, accessible through the De Marillac Academy Gate at 175 Golden Gate.

The Time is Now. Com Show your Tenderloin Pride and hear what the candidates will do to earn your vote. Voter registration will be available.

If you would like to submit a question for consideration or get involved, contact, or visit the information page for more information.

Race and Equity Series

March 29, 6 p.m.

Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd Street

Tickets: $15


Art Exhibit: Chinatown Home Cooking

On display through April 15

41 Ross Alley Gallery

Exhibit Hours: Thu-Sun, 11-4 pm





Visit the website for more information,, or reach out to Randall Ann Homan


We are energized by the amazing things happening across San Francisco. Let’s ride this excitement into the 14th Annual 2018 San Francisco Small Business Week (SFSBW) from May 14 – 19, 2018!

Whether you are a long time participant or a recent member to our community, you’ll find new resources, ideas and inspiration offered by city agencies, nonprofits, chambers and merchants associations dedicated to small business success. In fact, those are available to you all year long!

What you’ll find at this year’s SFSBW:

  • We kick-off the week with InspireSF, a new event to immerse attendees in a moving discussion of the evolution of small business.
  • Looking for the next big idea or the answers to your challenges? The Small Business Conference at the SBA Entrepreneur Center will offer workshops throughout the whole week in topics covering business development, finance, marketing, personal development and technology.
  • Tap into a variety of diverse networks that criss cross the city hosted by influential partners that feature members from the LGBTQ, Latino, women, African American and tech communities.
  • Honor the community’s accomplishments at both the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Small Business Awards Ceremonies.
  • To end the week, explore new small businesses in our vibrant neighborhood shopping corridors.

There is a lot you can do this week and we hope you get the opportunity to be part of it.

We look forward to seeing you at SF Small Business Week 2018!

Connect with us online!

@sfsmallbusiness | #SFSBW2018

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, announcements and interviews with city resources.

Grants, Technical Assistance and Other Opportunities & Resources


Chronic Disease Prevention Grants RFP

Deadline to Apply: April 20, 2018

The San Francisco Study Center (SFSC), in partnership with Community Health Equity & Promotion (CHE&P) Branch, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), is now accepting proposals with the intent to fund up to 14 community-based organizations (CBOs) for Chronic Disease Prevention Projects from approximately July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019. A total of $400,000 is available. Collaboration between multiple agencies is encouraged.

Important Dates and Times:

  1. March 19, 2018 – RFP issued
  2. April 6, 2018 at 12:00 noon – Questions due for informational meeting
  3. April 10, 2018 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Informational meeting (25 Van Ness, room 610). A summary of the informational meeting will be posted on the following websites: and; and e-mailed to those who submit questions and/or attend the informational meeting.
  4. April 20, 2018 by 12:00 noon – Proposals due to Attn: Arletha Murray, 25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 500, San Francisco, CA.


  1. End of April – Technical Review
  2. Award notification sent out – May 2018
  3. Project negotiations, MOUs developed and signed – May – June 2018
  4. Term for funded projects – July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

Application Process:

To apply for funding, complete the application and submit one (1) original and three (3) copies by 12 noon on April 20, 2018 to: Arletha Murray, SF Department of Public Health, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Download the RFP (PDF)

Please email questions about the RFP to


FREE Trainings & Workshops

Basic Bookkeeping I: Small Business Bookkeeping

Thursday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Email Marketing & Your Website; Where to Start With Online Ads

Tuesday, March 27, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Basic Bookkeeping II: Financial Analysis for Small Business

Thursday, March 29, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Restaurant Series I: Checklist for Starting a Restaurant

Tuesday, April 3, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Restaurant Series II: How to Operate a Profitable Restaurant

Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Franchising 101: Everything you need to know before buying a franchise

Thursday, April 12, 2018 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Restaurant Series III: Benchmarking Performance and Financial Reporting Tools

Tuesday, April 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Click here to register

Introduction to Government Contracting

Tuesday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Click here to register

“Respected Presenter” Communication Workshop

Thursday, April 26, 2018 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Click here to register


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Ordinances and Notices

San Francisco Legislation Effective as of January 1, 2018

  • Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance requires employers to provide employee breaks and a location for lactation, and to have a policy that specifies a process for when an employee makes a request for accommodation. Read more…
  • Health Care Security Ordinance requires a new health care expenditure rate of $2.83 per hour for large businesses (≥100 employees) and $1.89 per hour for medium-sized businesses (≤99 employees). Read more…
  • Paid Parental Leave Ordinance amends the San Francisco Police Code to require employers with 20 or more employees to provide supplemental compensation to employees who are receiving California Paid Family Leave for purposes of bonding with a new child. Read more…
  • Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO) rate for City Contractors is adjusted on January 1 each year and effective January 1, 2018, the for-profit rate is $14.02/hour while the nonprofit rate remains at $14.00/hour. The MCO became effective October 8, 2000 and generally requires City contractors to provide to their covered employees: (1) no less than the MCO hourly wage in effect; (2) 12 paid days off per year (or cash equivalent); (3) 10 days off without pay per year. The Ordinance covers most City service contractors and those who hold leases or perform work at San Francisco International Airport. Read more…

Sugary Drinks Tax imposes a one cent per fluid ounce tax on the initial distribution within San Francisco of sugar-sweetened beverages, syrups, and powders. Read more…

State Legislation Effective as of January 1, 2018

As you begin the new year, be aware of new legislation that could impact your business in 2018. Also, visit the 2018 Legislative Updates page on the Office of Small Business website to get more information and learn how to prepare.

  • AB 1008: Employment Discrimination – Conviction History repeals the unlawful practice for employers with 5 or more employees of including any questions related to an applicant’s conviction history on an employment application. Read more…
  • AB 168: Employers: Salary History Information prohibits all employers and their agents from seeking salary history information on an applicant. Read more…

SB 63: New Parent Leave Act for Small Employers requires small businesses in California with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child. Read more…

Notice: Temporary Relocation for Assessor’s Business Personal Property Division

Please be advised that the Office of the Assessor-Recorder, Business Personal Property Division, located at 1155 Market Street, 5th Floor is undergoing renovations until January 2018. During this time, taxpayers may receive assistance from Business Personal Property Division staff by emailing, calling 415-554-5596, or visiting the Assessor’s Office in City Hall, room 190, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.

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