As the holidays are upon us and the gift-giving season begins, I want to encourage all of you to join us in the Shop & Dine in the 49 Initiative. For the fourth year, Mayor Lee challenged residents to shop and dine within the 49 square miles of San Francisco to support our local small businesses this holiday season and all year long. Take this opportunity to explore a new neighborhood or commercial corridor. Don't forgot to share your San Francisco shopping and dining moments on social media with the hashtag #shopdine49.
Mayor Edwin Lee along with Todd Rufo, Director of Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and Mark Dwight, President of Small Business Commission, at the press conference to kick off the 4th Annual Shop & Dine in the 49 Initiative in November.
From all of us at the Office of Small Business, we wish you a Happy Holiday and a great New Year!
Photograph by Lawrence Liu.
Director, Office of Small Business
News & Announcements
- 2018 New Ordinances in San Francisco
- Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance
Effective January 1, 2018, the Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance requires employers to provide employees breaks and a location for lactation and to have a policy that specifies a process for when an employee makes a request for accommodation. The ordinance also defines minimum standards for lactation accommodation spaces, requires that tenant improvements in buildings designated for certain uses include lactation rooms, and outlines lactation accommodation best practices. For more information, click here.
- Health Care Security Ordinance
As of January 1, 2018 the health care expenditure rate will be $2.83 per hour for large businesses (100 or more employees total) and $1.89 per hour for medium-sized businesses (20-99 employees total). A webinar is available on 12/7 to review the employer requirements and get up to date information on the new rule. Click here for more information and to register.
- Paid Parental Leave Ordinance
Employers with 20 or more employees are required to comply beginning January 1, 2018. The ordinance amends the SF Police Code to require employers to provide supplemental compensation (the difference between weekly benefits from the California Paid Family Leave program and 100% of the employee's salary) for purposes of bonding with a new child. For more information, click here.
- Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO)
The Minimum Compensation Ordinance generally requires City Contractors and tenants at San Francisco International Airport to pay a minimum hourly wage rate to their covered employees. Effective January 1, 2018, MCO For-Profit rate for employees is $14.02/hour. For more details, click here.
- New State Legislations on Employment Practices - Effective January 1, 2018
As you prepare your business for the New Year, it's important to be aware of new legislation that could impact your business come 2018. Visit the 2018 Legislative Updates page on our website for information and how to prepare.
- AB 1008: Employment Discrimination: Conviction History
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), this bill would repeal the unlawful practice for employers with 5 or more employees to include any questions related to an applicant's conviction history on an employment application. Please note that if you are downloading or purchasing a generic employment application, be sure to cross out any questions and section related to conviction history. Generic employment forms and applications may not be compliant with California and San Francisco regulations, but you can be held liable for violation. To learn more about this legislation, click here.
- AB 168: Employers: Salary History Information
This new bill applies to all employers and their agents prohibiting them from seeking salary history information of the applicant. Regardless if it's orally or in writing, directly or indirectly, employers cannot ask and use this information as a factor in determining whether to offer an applicant employment or what salary to offer. Employers are also require to provide pay scale for a position to the applicant upon request. For more information about this bill, click here.
- SB 63: California New Parent Leave Act for Small Employers
In addition to the pregnancy disability under California Government Code section 12945, this leave requires California employers with at least 20 employees within 75 miles, to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave to employees, who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period. Click here to learn more.
- The Sugary Drinks Tax - Effective January 1, 2018
The Sugary Drinks Tax is a City general excise tax adopted by the voters in November 2016 on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverage that could be produced from syrup or powder. Businesses that sell the beverages will not need to adjust their Point of Sale systems, but may need to adjust the shelf price and will pay for the cost increase at the time of payment of invoice from the distributor.
This tax applies to "self-distributors", including retailers who obtain the beverages, syrups, or powders outside the City and bring them into the City themselves. Click here for full details on taxed beverages, compliance requirements and payment schedules.
- SBA Announcements
- Julie Clowes, New Director of the SBA's SF District Office
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the appointment of Julie Clowes as Director of the SBA's San Francisco District Office. Clowes, an attorney with a broad experience in SBA programs, formerly managed the SBA's programs and services in the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office. Previously, she was also the chief marketing and outreach attorney with the SBA's Office of General Counsel. As an experienced leader with great knowledge, Julie will be overseeing the entrepreneur services in the San Francisco District, advocating for small business owners in the Bay Area. Welcome, Julie. For the full press-release, click here.
- The SBA San Francisco District Office is now accepting nominations for its 2018 National Small Business Week Awards, annual Small Business Person of the Year and Small Business Exporter of the Year. The National Small Business Week will be from April 29 - May 5, 2018. All nominations must be submitted no later than noon PST, January 8, 2018. For more information, forms, criteria and guidelines, visit here.
- 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 from November 27, 2017 until January 2018. During this time, taxpayers may receive assistance from Business Personal Property Division staff by emailing email@example.com, 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.
- Women's Entrepreneurship Fund
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in collaboration with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) is pleased to launch the Women's Entrepreneurship Fund for established women-owned businesses in San Francisco. Participants in the program will pitch ideas for mini-grants (up to $5,000) toward projects that have a transformative effect on their businesses. The mini-grant funding will support the following investments:
- Business operations improvements: marketing, financial/accounting, new equipment and/or technology, training, networking
- Visual merchandising, space improvements, and marketing: window displays, lighting, signage, layout improvement, design changes, online marketing, trade shows, other marketing and customer acquisition opportunities.
Participants must be nominated by a small-business technical assistance provider to be eligible. For more information, please contact Edwin Rodriguez, Business Development Program Manager, MEDA at (415) 282-3334 ext. 102 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legacy Business Program
- Celebrating Historic SF Businesses through the Legacy Business Program
What do a martial arts center, a variety store, a hotel, a hair salon, and five bars/restaurant have in common? They were all recognized as cultural assets to the city and added to the Legacy Business Registry! This brings the count to 119 businesses who are celebrated as longstanding, community-serving businesses in San Francisco.
The following businesses were added to the Registry in November:
- El Rio, Your Bar (3158 Mission St.): A Mission gem that takes ‘neighborhood bar’ to the next level with a profit-sharing business model and playing host to community-serving fundraisers and events, like Salsa Sundays.
- Hwa Rang Kwan Martial Arts Center (90 Welsh St.): The oldest Korean martial arts center on the West Coast teaching youth and adults life values and discipline since 1973.
- Cliff’s Variety (479 Castro St.): Celebrated for its quirky window displays, this family-owned Castro institution carries a bit of everything, from hardware supplies to feather boas.
- Tommaso’s Ristorante Italiano (1042 Kearny St.): You’d be hard-pressed to find a local who hasn’t heard of this North Beach landmark, serving award-winning pizzas and no-frills Italian food since 1935.
The following businesses were added to the Registry in December:
- Beck’s Motor Lodge (2222 Market St.): A Castro staple that still offers affordable rooms, friendly service and free parking, 60 years after it opened.
- Eddie’s Café (800 Divisadero St.): A neighborhood greasy spoon serving traditional diner fare and soul food classics in Western Addition since 1974.
- Little Joe’s Pizzeria (5006 Mission St.): Serving Italian pizzas with a Mexican twist in the Excelsior for almost 60 years.
- One Twenty For Hair (155 Main St.): Edith and Marco Paz brought their SoMa hair salon to Legacy status through commitment and passion for the beauty industry.
A Legacy Business is a locally-owned for-profit or nonprofit business that has been operating for at least 30 years, garners a nomination from the Mayor or member of the Board of Supervisors, and gets approval from the Small Business Commission. Businesses must demonstrate their contribution to the neighborhood’s history or identity through the application process.
In January, the Small Business Commission will review 4 businesses for inclusion on the Registry: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Lucca Delicatessen, Noe Valley Bakery, and San Francisco Market Corporation.
At least 72 hours prior to the Small Business Commission’s meetings, agendas and Registry applications can be found at http://sfosb.org/meetings/10.
Visit the Legacy Business Program section of our website to learn more about the program, which includes a complete list and map of businesses on the Registry.
We are presently undergoing a marketing and branding project for the Legacy Business Program. Stay tuned for updates early next year!
Small Business Commission
- Upcoming Small Business Commission Meetings
Please join us at the upcoming Small Business Commission meetings in City Hall.
- January 8, 2018 at 5:30 PM (City Hall, Room 400)
- January 22, 2018 at 2:00 PM (City Hall, Room 400)
Click here for Meeting Agendas. Attend in-person or watch online with SFGOV TV.
The regulatory structure for adult use Cannabis in San Francisco was signed into law by Mayor Lee on December 6, 2017. The Small Business Commission made a total of 12 recommendations to modify the two pieces of legislation, BOS File Nos: 171041 and 171042. The Board of Supervisors adopted 9 the recommendations. The Office of Cannabis is regulatory department that will issue the permit to operate for cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, sale, and delivery of medicinal and adult use cannabis.
The earliest a permit to operate in the adult use market can be issued is January 6th, 2018. The Director of the Office of Cannabis is required to issuing permits based upon the priorities established in section 1606 of file No. 171042. It is important to note that come January 6, 2018, San Francisco patients in need of medical cannabis will still have the same access as they do now.
How to Start a Business in San Francisco - January 3, 2018, 11:00AM - 12:30PM
In this informative class you will hear directly from the San Francisco Office of Small Business on rules, regulations, and important considerations for starting a business in San Francisco. Learn how to register your business, file a fictitious business name, and obtain other permits and licenses. You will also receive information on city programs and resources, including small business loans, tax credits and incentives, and technical assistance providers. Click here to register.
- How to Start a Business in San Francisco (SPANISH) - January 10, 2018, 11:00AM - 12:30PM
En esta clase informativa, un representante de la Oficina de Negocios Pequeños proporcionará información sobre las reglas y requisitos para comenzar un negocio en San Francisco. Aprenderá a registrar su empresa, presentar un nombre comercial ficticio y otras consideraciones importantes, tales como licencias y permisos, zonificación, y accesibilidad. También aprenderá sobre los programas y recursos para pequeñas empresas, incluso préstamos para pequeñas empresas y proveedores de asistencia técnica. Registro es obligatorio. Regístrese en línea en http://sbatrainings.evenbrite.com, o llame al (415) 554-6181.
- Business Law Basics - January 10, 2018, 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Current and prospective business owners will get an overview of important legal issues faced by small businesses including choosing the right legal entity, contract drafting and negotiation, intellectual property, hiring employees, and commercial leases, presented by an experienced business lawyer. This class does not constitute legal advice. For more information, click here.
- HUBZone and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program Certifications
This workshop is beneficial to existing small businesses who are interested in learning the provisions of the HUBZone Program and the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program. Eligibility requirements, application and certification will be explained. Registration required, click here.
Business Spotlight - NEW!
- Request for Proposals & Contracting Opportunities:
- City and County of San Francisco Contracting Opportunities
The Office of Contract Administration is the city’s Purchasing Department. In order for the city to do business with a business, the business must first be qualified. For information on the city’s purchasing process, including ‘How to Qualify to Do Business with the City’, access the required forms, and access the online city-wide Bids and Contracts Database, visit the City and County of San Francisco Office of Contract Administration website.
- City and County of San Francisco Local Business Enterprise Certification
The Contract Monitoring Division (CMD) administers the city’s Local Business Enterprise Certification program (LBE). For information on how to obtain LBE Certification, PUC LBE Certification, and Non-Profit Entity Certification, please visit the City and County of San Francisco Contract Monitoring Division website.
CMD also holds a FREE WORSHOP SERIES each Wednesday of the month at 30 Van Ness, Suite 200 designed to help you “Learn Everything You Need to Know about Contracting with the City and County of San Francisco”. Reservations are not required, but highly recommended. Click here for additional details, including title and date of workshops.
- City and County of San Francisco Surety Bond & Finance Program
The City’s Surety Bond & Financing Assistance Program is designed to help certified Small or Micro LBE contractors who are participating in City construction projects obtain and/or increase their bonding and financing capacity. For information contact Nancy Owens of Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services at 417 Montgomery Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94104, or by phone at (415) 986-3999.
- DPW Contracting Opportunities
The Department of Public Works (DPW) announced the launch of a one-stop shop on its website that will make it easier for contractors to search for contracts, bid on projects, find project information, access documentation and track their payments for DPW’s construction projects and professional services. Please click here for details.
- Doing Business at SFO (San Francisco International Airport)
SFO is an exciting and interesting place with various business opportunities, from construction and facility maintenance to retail concessions and advertising. These opportunities are awarded to companies through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process or competitive bid process. For a listing of SFO’s Current Opportunities for Concession & Leases, Professional Services, and Ground Transportation click here.
- SFMTA Contracting Opportunities
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) offers various bid and contract opportunities and implements three small business programs for the participation of small businesses in contracting opportunities. For more information visit the SFMTA’s ‘Selling to the SFMTA’ webpage. For upcoming bids, see Bid and Contract Database at SFgov.
- SFPUC Contracting Opportunities
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has various contracting opportunities, including Construction Bid Opportunities, Professional Service Agreements, and Design Build Opportunities. SFPUC also has a new Contractors Assistance Center, a place where local and small business owners can collaborate, share and learn to establish or grow their business. For more information visit the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Contracts and Bids website.
- Upcoming Classes & Workshops
The City contracts with a number of local non-profits to provide technical assistance, training, loan packaging, and legal services for small businesses. Through this vast network of business support organizations, individuals can access classes, workshops and trainings, and one-on-one assistance on a variety of topics, including business planning, financial management, marketing, human resources, legal services, and more. Below are links to some of these partner organizations for more info on their specific programs and classes.
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs
Mission Economic Development Agency
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
San Francisco Small Business Development Center
San Francisco SCORE Chapter
Small Business Administration Calendar of Events
Southeast Asian Community Center
The Business Spotlight is a new feature in our newsletter. Every month, we will feature a small business in San Francisco. In the spotlight for this issue is Ana's Market.
- Office of Small Business, Small Business Assistance Center had endorsed Ana's Market for a $5,000 zero interest Kiva loan. A loan of $5,000 will help Thelma Orozco, the proprietor of Ana’s Market buy a cooler to keep vegetables fresh and to offer a lager variety of vegetables in her store. Ana’s Market at 101 Broad Street in the Oceanview neighborhood of San Francisco is participating in the city’s Invest In Neighborhoods (IIN), Healthy RetailSF program, an initiative aimed at addressing health equity by encouraging access to healthy and affordable foods in all neighborhoods.
With the endorsement of the City and County of San Francisco Office of Small Business, a Kiva Trustee and partner, Thelma's loan was fully funded in less than one week!!
A special "Thank You" to KIVA and all of our supporters who help small businesses reach their goals one step at a time.