| City & County of San Francisco
Office of Small Business Presents
SMALL BUSINESS BULLETIN
I am excited to announce the launch of the new Small Business Acceleration Program, an interagency initiative of Mayor Ed Lee with the support of Supervisor Katy Tang. The Small Business Acceleration Program offers free services to people opening small brick and mortar food-based businesses in San Francisco. The program is a partnership between: Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Office of Small Business, Planning Department, Department of Building Inspection, Department of Public Health, Fire and Police Departments, Department of Public Works, Public Utilities Commission, Department of Environment, Treasurer and Tax Collector's Office, Entertainment Commission, and the Office of the Assessor-Recorder.
If you are ready to start looking for a location and talk about the permits and licenses, your first step is to make an appointment with a dedicated case manager. And don’t forget to utilize Restaurant Starter Kit, on the SF Business Portal to help you navigate the steps to start, manage, and grow your food-based business in San Francisco.
Director, Office of Small Business
|News & Announcements
• November 2 Remember - Shop SF Neighborhoods 11/1 - 12/31
The San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations is pleased to announce the launch of 'November 2 Remember' Shopping Sweepstakes – a shop local campaign.
'November 2 Remember', a sweepstakes that rewards shopping at small, local businesses in San Francisco, reinforces buying local and builds a stronger, healthier community, while helping to sustain local jobs and our vibrant merchant corridors. The Sweepstakes will have several tiers of prizes including a grand prize – an electric bicycle from Electric Bicycle Super Store.
The Sweepstakes will start on November 1st. To enter the drawing, simply upload a Selfie of your San Francisco shopping experience and submit the required information at www.november2remember.com. While shopping, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #november2remember.
• Over the past six years, Small Business Saturday has helped small business owners with their most pressing need — getting more customers. They want to make this their biggest and best year yet, asking communities everywhere to show their love for small businesses on Nov 26.
You can spread the word and create excitement leading up to the day by leveraging your brand reach and social media channels. They've made it easy to promote Small Business Saturday to your small business customers, consumers, and your employees with pre-made marketing materials and some creative thought starters below. Visit ShopSmall.com/GetReady to customize free downloadable marketing materials that can help attract more customers on Nov 26.
• La Cocina's Annual Food + Entrepreneurship Conference - Nov. 13 & 14
For the past 5 years, the Food + Entrepreneurship Conference has been a gathering place for civic leaders, nonprofit innovators, and forward thinking food business owners to come together, rethink economic structures, share innovations and work together to build more equitable, vibrant and delicious cities. This year, La Cocina's Food + Entrepreneurship Conference, presented by Whole Foods Market, will kick off on Sunday, November 13th with a full day of conversations, workshops and food with a focus on how small businesses can be activists for change in their communities. On Monday, November 14th, we'll be hosting guided walking tours (with plenty of eats!) to experience food entrepreneurship on the ground. Scholarships available to people with financial need. For more information including conference schedule and scholarship application click here.
•Kiva Community Marketplace, Saturday November 19, 11am - 5pm - SF Mint
Kiva and Google are teaming up to host a Community Marketplace on Saturday, November 19th from 11-5 at the old Mint in Downtown San Francisco. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend. 100 local businesses from the Kiva network will be selling goods, a perfect opportunity to jump start your holiday shopping and discover new merchants in your community. There will be food, music, and plenty of great shopping. It's also a rare opportunity to explore one of the most historic buildings in our great city! If you are interested in vending or tabling at this event, please reach out to Spencer Larkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Kiva for details.
•Good News, Bavyview Residents, There's a Grocer Near You
On October 5th, Duc Loi Pantry opened its doors to the Bayview community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Malia Cohen, members of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development's (OEWD) Invest In Neighborhoods team, and Assemblymember David Chiu. The full service grocery store, locally-owned by Howard and Amanda Ngo, was brought to the neighborhood thanks in part to a $250,000 SF Shines grant through OEWD’s Invest In Neighborhoods Initiative, a business attraction incentive that offers grocery operators and small storefront businesses pay for interior and exterior improvements in select neighborhoods including the Bayview. Duc Loi brings fresh produce and great variety for local residents and is located at 5900 Third Street.
Read the full story here.
Back to the top
• New Health Care Security Expenditure Rates as of 1/1/2017
As of January 1, 2017, the health care expenditure rate will be $2.64 per hour for large businesses (100 or more employees total) and $1.76 per hour for medium-sized businesses (20-99 employees total). Businesses with 20 or more employees (and nonprofit organizations with 50 or more employees) must spend a minimum amount on health care benefits for each of their “covered employees” – generally, those employees who work 8 or more hours per week in San Francisco and have been employed for more than 90 days.
Employers with 20-99 employees must spend at least $1.76 for each hour payable for each covered employee. Employers with 100+ employees must spend at least $2.64 for each hour payable for each covered employee. These expenditures must be made for each employee within 30 days following the end of each calendar quarter. Click here for more information.
• San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) Effective 2017
The San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) passed in 2016 and takes effect January 1, 2017. The PPLO requires employers that have 20 or more employees worldwide; and employ any employee(s) in San Francisco, to provide Supplemental Compensation* to covered employees who receive California State Paid Family Leave for purposes of bonding with a new child. The law will phase in:
1. Employers with 50 or more employees become covered on 1/1/2017;
2. Employers with 35 or more employees become covered on 7/1/2017; and
3. Employers with 20 or employees become covered on 1/1/2018.
*Supplemental Compensation: is compensation in based on the current 55% wage replacement rate under State law, employers paying the remaining 45% of the employee’s weekly wages during the 6-week leave period.
For more information, including employees with multiple covered employers, please visit OLSE’s website or email email@example.com.
• PUC Offers Rebates to Replace Commercial Toilets and Urinals
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is offering several rebates and incentives to both commercial and residential customers. Replacing old, inefficient plumbing fixtures can help conserve water, save money, and is more important than ever with the California drought threatening the SFPUC’s regional water supplies. Below is a list of the current offers. Funding is limited and rebates are available on a first come, first served basis.
Commercial High-Efficiency Toilet Rebates
San Francisco commercial businesses are eligible for cash rebates of up to $125 per tank style toilet and up to $500 per flushometer valve toilet when they replace their high-flow toilets (3.5 gpf or more) with High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) models that are 1.28 gpf or less. HETs must be purchased before 12/31/2016 and applications must be postmarked before 3/1/2017. For more information, click here.
Commercial High-Efficiency Urinal Rebates
San Francisco commercial businesses are eligible for cash rebates of up to $500 per urinal when they replace their high-flow urinals (1.5 gpf or more) with High-Efficiency Pint Flush Urinal (HEU) models that are 0.125 gpf or less. HEUs must be purchased before 12/31/2016 and applications must be postmarked by 3/1/2017. For more information, click here.
Commercial High-Efficiency Clothes Washer Rebate
SFPUC is offering rebates of up to $500 per commercial high-efficiency clothes washer with a water factor of 4.5 or below. For more information and eligibility requirements, click here.
Plumbing Fixture Replacement Program (PREP) - Free Toilets and Urinals for Residents and Businesses
The SFPUC is launching a new program, called PREP for short, that replaces old toilets and urinals with water-efficient models. The PREP Program will offer free high-efficiency toilets and/or urinals, plus free installation. It will be available to residential and non-residential properties in the SFPUC's retail service area that meet the eligibility requirements. For more details, click here.
Grant Assistance for Water Efficient Equipment Retrofits - NEW!
SFPUC is offering a pilot grant assistance program for non-residential retail water service customers who can significantly reduce their use of potable water through upgrade or replacement of existing onsite indoor water using equipment. Eligible projects must achieve a water savings of 200 ccf (149,000 gallons) or more a year to qualify. We will provide qualifying projects grant funding of $1.00 per ccf over a 10-year lifespan up to 50% of the project’s equipment costs, with a maximum amount of $75,000 per project. A single customer may apply for more than one project. For more details, click here.
• Reporting Abandoned Property to the State Controller's Office
As a business, make sure to be familiar with California’s unclaimed property law. Whether you are starting a business, relocating, expanding, or closing, it is important to regularly review your books and records to determine if your business holds any property that is considered inactive. Such items may be reportable to the State Controller as unclaimed property.
For decades, California’s unclaimed property law has required banks, corporations, insurance companies, and other businesses (collectively called “property holders”) to report and transfer money to the State Controller’s Office after a period of no activity. Common types of unclaimed property include uncashed payroll checks, accounts payable checks, refunds, accounts receivable, credit balances, bank accounts, customer overpayments, money orders, and insurance proceeds. State Controller Betty Yee is responsible for safeguarding this lost or forgotten property as long as it takes to reunite it with the rightful owners. Once the items are turned over to the State Controller’s Office, there is no deadline for people to submit a property claim.
The Outreach and Compliance Unit of the Controller’s Unclaimed Property Division provides business education and resources. For one-on-one assistance, call 916-464-6088 or e-mail UPDHolderOutreach@sco.ca.gov. Search the Controller’s online database at claimit.ca.gov to see if the state is safeguarding any property belonging to you.
For more information, visit http://www.sco.ca.gov/upd_rptg.html.
• Mission Economic Development Agency Adelante Fund
MEDA’s Adelante Fund provides loans to small-business owners who cannot access affordable bank loans. These loans can be used for any business purpose including startup, supplies/inventory, equipment, lease improvements, vehicles, purchasing a business, and working capital. There is no cost to apply and loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with fixed-rate terms. Loan products are offered in combination with FREE one-on-one business coaching in English or Spanish. Interest rate is 7-9% with 3 and 5 year terms with no prepayment penalty. ITIN holders encouraged to apply! For more information on the Adelante Fund please contact (415) 282-3334 ext. 130 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here.
Back to the top
|Small Business Commission Legislative Liaison
For more information on ALL of the ordinances below, go to our Legislation Impacting Small Business Page. We appreciate your comments.
THE FULL-TEXT LEGISLATION AND VARIOUS SUMMARIES ARE AVAILABLE ON OSB'S Legislation Impacting Small Business page.
Legislation of Interest to the Commission:
ITEMS IN THIS SECTION WILL BE LISTED BY TITLE ONLY.
• Planning Code - Downtown Support Special Use District; Fees in Lieu of On-Site Open Sapce (BOS File No. 140877)
• Administrative Code - New Hotels and Motels Near Places of Entertainment (BOS File No. 161064)
• Police Code - Rental Car Disclosure Requirements (BOS File No. 161065)
Back to the top
|Small Business Commission Corner / Legacy Business Program
• Upcoming Small Business Commission Meetings
Please join us at the upcoming Small Business Commission meetings in City Hall, Room 400.
- November 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM
- November 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Click here for Meeting Agendas. Attend in-person or watch online with SFGOV TV.
• 22 Businesses Will Be Considered for Inclusion on the Legacy Business Registry in November
In November 2016, the Small Business Commission will review 22 businesses for inclusion on the Legacy Business Registry, joining 27 businesses that have already been listed on the Registry since August 2016. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses as valuable cultural assets to the city and provides educational and promotional assistance to encourage their continued viability and success in San Francisco.
Nine Legacy Business Registry applications that will be reviewed on November 14 are: Anchor Oyster Bar, Café International, City Lights Bookstore, EROS: The Center for Safe Sex, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Luxor Cabs, Papenhausen Hardware, Sam Wo Restaurant and St. Francis Fountain.
Thirteen Legacy Business Registry applications that will be reviewed on November 28 are: Bay Area Video Coalition, Blue Bear School of Music, Bo’s Flowers Stand, Café du Nord, Caffe Trieste, Cartoon Art Museum, Castro Country Club, Cole Hardware, Galeria de la Raza (Galeria Studio 54), Golden Bear Sportswear, Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant, San Francisco Heritage and the Stud Bar.
All 22 applications have received positive recommendations from the Historic Preservation Commission.
At least 72 hours prior to the Small Business Commission’s meetings, agendas and Legacy Business Registry applications can be found at http://sfosb.org/meetings/10.
For a complete list of businesses placed on the Legacy Business Registry, please visit http://sfosb.org/legacy-business/registry.
Back to the top
|RFPs & 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 entity 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 WORKSHOP 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 are 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) has launched 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. Click here for DPW contracting opportunities.
• Doing Business at SFO
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. Detailed information about construction opportunities can be found on SFO’s Construction Bids and Contracts website.
• 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.
Back to the top
• WED. 11/9 – Federal/State Basic Payroll Tax Seminar
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
This seminar guides participants through the basis of that preparation. Subjects include determining independent contractor versus employee, withholding taxes, deposits and completing the proper forms. Presented by an IRS Representative and the California EDD Tax Office. Call (866) 873-6083 for more information. Click here to register.
• THU. 11/10 – Finding Venture Capital for Your Business
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Learn from volunteer presenter, Jean L. Batman, the process of seeking Venture Capital funding, including how to tell when you’re ready to talk to Venture Capitalists, how to find your Venture Capitalist, the dos and don’ts of presenting to Venture Capitalists, and how a typical Venture Capital deal is structured. This class does not constitute legal advice. Free. Registration required. Click here to register.
• THU. 11/10 – Financial Analysis for Your Small Business
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
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. Free. Registration required. Click here to register.
• WED. 11/16 – Start Up Law 101
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
This presentation covers the different types of business entities that startups may consider when forming their startup, the common types of form documents involved in the hiring and on boarding of independent contractors and employees, and funding/financing rounds. Free. Registration required. Click here to register.
• WED. 11/16 – Online Alternative Financing Options for Small Businesses
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
SBA will moderate a panel of guest speakers who will discuss Alternative financing models such as: crowdfunding, online lending, and merchant cash advances. By attending this session, you will have a better understanding of the fin tech landscape and be able to assess your opportunities as a well-informed consumer. SBA is not affiliated or associated with any of the guest speakers and makes no representations or recommendations regarding their products or services. Any borrower pursuing alternative financing options should do their own due diligence in regards to fees, interest rates, and terms. Free. Registration Required. Click here to register.
• WED. 11/16 – Legal Office Hours
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Any small business owner or entrepreneur with a relevant question will be able to sign up for legal office hours. Appointments must be made in advance. No walk-ins accepted. Please make sure you receive an appointment confirmation before attending. At Legal Office Hours, small business owners and entrepreneurs can make appointments with Urban Solutions to receive legal services. Click here for more info and to register.
• THU. 11/17 – QuickBooks Program
9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
MUST be an established business in San Francesco to register. 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.
• THU. 11/17 – Big Tech for Small Biz
6:00 PM – 8:00PM
Free and low-cost tech tips, tricks, apps and more to help your business succeed! Join this exciting 8-month course (1 day a month) for small business owners to learn about tools and technology from the pros! We’ve partnered with local Tech companies to bring you a new technology solution for your business every month. Receive training and support directly from tech and business minded companies such as: Kiva, VehicleSF, Wells Fargo, Centro Community Partners, Oakland Digital, Yelp, PopUpsters, Twitter, Square, NerdWallet, Townsquared, and more! You may also attend bi-weekly office hours, for 1:1 tech support! Each month builds on the preceding workshop and offers a unique business focus. Complete the entire course with your personal development plan, and you’ll have a chance to earn a new tablet or laptop! Sign up for the entire series, or drop-in for just one or two classes. Click here to register.
• THU. 12/1 – Getting Financing for Your Startup Business
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
In this workshop you will get information on financing issues for startup businesses, types of startup businesses, sources of funding and criteria for each, including bank loans, peer-to-peer loans, crowdfunding, online loans and credit cards, microloans, personal loans friends and relatives, and Angel equity financing. This is a free event for the general public. No RSVP required but seating may be limited. This workshop is presented by the Southeast Asian Community Center (SEACC) in collaboration with the San Francisco Sunset Branch Library. SEACC is a community-based, non-profit agency in San Francisco providing microloans and consulting to small businesses. For more information call (415) 885-2743 or visit www.seaccusa.org.
• Additional Classes, Workshops, & Trainings
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
Back to the top
Office of Small Business
City Hall, Room 110
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102