I want to welcome San Francisco’s 45th Mayor, London Breed sworn in on July 11, 2018. Mayor Breed’s top priorities for her administration are addressing the City’s homelessness challenges, cleaning up San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks, creating more affordable housing, improving public safety, investing in public education programs, upgrading the City’s transportation infrastructure and address the City’s commercial vacancies. All of these are top priorities for small businesses. Mayor Breed announced a Policy Transition Team, a group comprised of community activists, business leaders, academics, non-profit leaders and policy experts tasked with working together to identify issues and ideas that matter most to San Franciscans. The Office of Small Business and the Small Business Commission look forward to working with Mayor Breed to address the issues identified by the Small Business and Jobs Policy Group.
I also want to thank Mayor Farrell for his great service to this City as Mayor for the first half of 2018 and his tremendous support of SF Small Business Week 2018. InspireSF kicked off Small Business Week with business resources and an inspiring panel with speakers from Reem's, Off the Grid, Nomiku and Bi-Rite Market.
Former Mayor Mark Farrell recognized his small business honorees at the Small Business Award Ceremony.
The Board of Supervisors nominated and honored an exemplary small business in each district at a City Hall ceremony.
As we look forward to the 15th anniversary of Small Business Week in 2019, please continue to support our local small businesses throughout the year.
Director, Office of Small Business
News & Announcements
- Office of Small Business is Hiring!
The Office of Small Business is hiring for a FT Temporary Exempt 9910 - Public Service Trainee. To see the requirements and for more information, click here. Feel free to forward the link to anyone who may be interested.
- 2 Labor Laws Took Effect on July 1st
- On July 1, 2018, the San Francisco minimum wage rate increased to $15.00 per hour. Each year thereafter, the minimum wage will be adjusted based on the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index. Employees that perform work in San Francisco, including part-time and temporary employees, must be paid no less than the San Francisco minimum wage. For more information, click here.
- The Consideration of Salary History Ordinance bans employers, including City contractors and subcontractors, from considering current or past salary of an applicant in determining whether to hire the applicant or what salary to offer the applicant or what salary to offer the applicant. Please note that the State of California has also passed legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their current or past salary. The statewide law took effect on January 1, 2018. For more information, click here.
The IRS often provides tips and resources to small business owners. Did you know that employers may claim the credit based on wages paid to qualifying employees while they are on family and medical leave? Find more information on who qualifies, what "family and medical leave" includes and other considerations that affect wages.
The IRS also urges anyone working in the sharing economy to perform a Paycheck Checkup now to avoid an unexpected tax bill when they file their return next year. Many people working in the sharing economy are employees, in which case their employers should be withholding taxes from their wages. Many others are not working as employees, so they need to make sure they pay their taxes either through withholding from other jobs they may have, or through estimated taxes. Either way, because of the far-reaching tax changes taking effect this year, IRS urges taxpayers, including those in the sharing economy, to perform a Paycheck Checkup now. The easiest way for most employees to check their withholding is through the Withholding Calculator available on IRS.gov.
- Business Property Tax Due August 31, 2018
When business property statement is filed in a timely manner, you should receive your business property tax bill in July. Payment is due on or before August 31, and becomes delinquent after that date and will be subject to penalties and interest. The assessment is the responsibility of the Assessor's Office. Questions related to how your tax bill was determined can be answered at 415-554-5531 or via email at email@example.com. To learn more about Business Personal Property, please check out this factsheet or visit the website.
SCORE-HSN is a free program that helps entrepreneurs pitch their new consumer products directly to HSN executives. The program is a collaboration between Home Shopping Network and SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact ScoreYourDream@svscore.org or visit www.ScoreYourDream.org.
Celebrating Historic SF Businesses through the Legacy Business Program
We’re pleased to announce nine businesses that were added to the Legacy Business Registry since February 2018. This brings the count to 137 businesses who are celebrated as longstanding, community-serving businesses in San Francisco.
The newly nine businesses added to the Registry were:
- Kabuki Springs & Spa (1750 Geary Blvd.): The largest urban Japanese bathhouse and spa in the United States known for their communal bathing facility, massage, facials, skincare and a variety of therapeutic Pan Asian body treatments.
- Jazz Room (5267 3rd St.): A bar, music venue and neighborhood fixture since 1962, the Jazz Room hosts semi-regular DJ music by local residents as well as occasional band performances. It was and is an important part of the legacy of the African American experience in San Francisco and Bayview-Hunters Point.
- Marine Chartering Company, Inc. (781 Beach Street, 4th Floor): With offices overlooking Aquatic Park, the business is a world-wide transportation brokerage firm and leading international ocean transportation company that enjoys a significant position in the worldwide brokerage of ships and cargoes.
- Mission Graduates (3040 16th St.): Founded in 1972, the nonprofit organization increases the number of K-12 students in San Francisco’s Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education through a wide range of afterschool, in-school and summer programs.
- Knights' Catering (255 Mendell St.): A full-service event catering and production coordination company for weddings, holiday parties, political events, executive roundtables, seminars, product launches, old fashion office picnics and daily catering needs.
- The Animal Company (1307 Castro St.): A small, neighborhood pet store established in 1976 in Noe Valley specializing in birds, high-quality pet products and excellent customer service.
- VIP Grooming and VIP Scrub Club (4299 24th St. and 1734 Church St.): VIP Grooming provides exceptional and thorough dog grooming services in a fun and loving environment. VIP Scrub Club features five raised self-serve tubs, a separate dry room with dog-friendly dryers, a variety of breed and skin-type specific shampoos, friendly staff, on-site nail trimming, full grooming services and a lounge area where one can have coffee and socialize with other furry friends.
- Balboa Cafe (3199 Fillmore St.): A Cow Hollow restaurant and bar founded in 1913 and purchased by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s PlumpJack Group in 1994. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere, affordable wine list, fully stocked bar focusing on the classic age of cocktails and its famous Balboa Burger.
- Hayes Street Grill (320 Hayes Street): A seafood restaurant serving fresh, local seafood and produce through a menu changing daily, catering to patrons of the Davies Symphony Hall, Opera Plaza and government employees and residents around Civic Center and Hayes Valley.
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.
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.
Interested in learning more out about Legacy Businesses? Visit the Legacy Business Program section of our website, which includes a complete list and map of businesses on the Registry.
- Becoming Employee-Owned: A Small Business Toolkit
The San Francisco Office of Small Business, in partnership with the Democracy at Work Institute, has created a small business toolkit titled Becoming Employee-Owned to introduce Legacy Businesses to the succession strategy of transitioning to employee ownership.
An employee-owned business is owned and controlled by its employees. Transitioning your small business to employee ownership can have positive impacts on employee engagement, productivity, and retention; anchor a lasting legacy for your efforts building the business; and offer a financially rewarding exit path that can be supported by experienced professional assistance. Small business owners throughout the United States are increasingly seeing employees as highly desirable buyers because their expertise operating business offers continuity, which buoys company value, and because of their commitment to the main street social fabric that could be jeopardized by outside buyers.
The toolkit explains what employee ownership is and how it works, and provides information about the stages of transition. If you think employee ownership may be right for your business, please contact the Legacy Business Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Business Commission
Upcoming Small Business Commission Meetings
Please join us at the upcoming Small Business Commission meetings in City Hall.
- September 10, 2018 at 5:30 PM (City Hall, Room 400)
- September 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM (City Hall, Room 400)
Click here for Meeting Agendas. Attend in-person or watch online with SFGOV TV.
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 Sheng Tang Peony.
OSB staff assisted a China based clothing retailer to open its first US location in San Francisco. Sheng Tang Peony, headquartered in Shanghai, specializes in high-end traditional Chinese clothing. Patterns on its clothes and accessories are designed by contemporary artists and are hand-embroidered. A variety of hand-made cashmere, pashmina and silk products imported from China can be found in their Russian Hill store at 1200 Union Street, near Hyde.
While its products only target a small group of consumers who admire traditional beauty and clothing styles, there have been an increasing number of foreigners trying the traditional Chinese clothing. Sheng Tang Peony has locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, and San Francisco. If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to check out their beautiful collections of fine garments.
- Marketing Your Business - August 29, 2018, 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Developing a relationship with your customers is the key to building your retail business and most importantly, growing your revenue. This relationship is the essence of marketing. Learn the basics of developing a marketing plan for your retail venture. This class is targeted to start-up as well as established retailers. Click here to register.
Visual Merchandizing & Marketing Strategies - September 12, 2018, 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Visual merchandising encompasses the way that you present product to grab the customer's attention. Strategies to create effective visual marketing displays can help you maximize the impact of your retail floor space and your profitability. The class covers visual merchandising and how it is also tied to your marketing efforts. Click here to register.
- How to Start a Small Business in San Francisco - September 12, 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.
Family Wealth Workshop - September 29, 2018, 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Assessor Carmen Chu is bringing back by popular demand her Office’s community event to help San Francisco families build their financial futures, the Family Wealth Workshop. Often when speaking with community members, Assessor Chu receives questions about estate planning and passing on a family's most valuable asset, their home. In response, she created the Family Wealth event series as a one-stop shop to answer those questions. The event will offer guidance on property tax savings for families, estate planning, and safeguarding against financial abuse, especially for seniors. We invite you to join us for this free community event on Saturday, September 29, 2018, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood Street. For more information and to register, please visit www.sfassessor.org/familywealthforum.