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Mayor Lee & Supervisor Wiener Launch NightLifeSF Initiative to Support City’s Nightlife & Entertainment Industry

New Initiative to Bring Together Restaurants, Bars, Nightclubs, Live Music Venues & Performing Arts Spaces to Keep SF’s $4 Billion Nightlife & Entertainment Industry Successful & Vibrant

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener today announced the launch of NightlifeSF, an initiative to support San Francisco’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment industry. The City’s $4 billion industry includes 3,200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, live music venues, and performing arts spaces that create over 52,000 jobs in San Francisco. The initiative will support the sector by providing a one stop for existing or prospective nightlife business owners with resources and tools including dedicated staff and a new website to help navigate city rules on starting or maintaining a nightlife business in San Francisco.

“Our City’s world-class nightlife and entertainment industry helps make San Francisco a unique and great place to live, work, play and visit,” said Mayor Lee. “The range of tools we are deploying provides our nightlife and entertainment businesses with valuable resources and guidance so they can start, stay, and successfully thrive— keeping San Francisco a premier nightlife destination.”

“Nightlife and entertainment businesses create jobs, generate tourism, and enrich our neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Wiener. “I applaud the launch of NightlifeSF to help nightlife businesses continue to support the City’s cultural and economic vitality.”

The new NightlifeSF initiative is being led by a dedicated nightlife and entertainment sector manager at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to make City government more responsive to the needs and concerns of the nightlife and entertainment business community and to improve the effectiveness of government interaction with these businesses.

A new nightlife business handbook will guide business owners through the complexities of starting a nightlife business in SF and highlights best practices in running a successful nightlife business, including: identifying the right location to fit the needs of one’s business; accessing City loan and grant programs that can financially assist in business growth; and adhering to the good neighbor policy and security guidelines developed by the Entertainment Commission.

In 2014, the NightlifeSF initiative will continue to conduct outreach to local nightlife and entertainment businesses, support the launch of new businesses in this sector, and work to build awareness of San Francisco’s diverse nightlife and entertainment offerings.

The initiative also includes a website where businesses and individuals can access and download a variety of materials, including resources about the Limited Live Performance program, an affordable, easy-to-use permit that enables businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars and art galleries to incorporate live entertainment into their operations. The website also provides resources and tools for visitors and residents to experience San Francisco’s nightlife and local talent. For more information, go to:

“Setting up a bar and entertainment business in San Francisco presents good rewards and many hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Future Bars CEO Brian Sheehy. “Now, with such a vast amount of resources and information centralized at, the process of getting from business idea to opening night is sure to be more efficient and less drawn out. It is a very welcome and much needed development resource for such an important industry to the economy of San Francisco.”

According to a 2012 economic impact study by the City Controller, San Francisco nightlife establishments generate roughly $4 billion in local spending by eighty million customers every year. However, San Francisco nightlife businesses are subjected to a multitude of complex permitting systems that make it challenging, time-consuming and costly to successfully launch, operate, and maintain an establishment in the City.

The goals of the NightlifeSF initiative include: to assist entrepreneurs in more effectively navigating City regulations and requirements and resolving issues; strengthen relationships with businesses and stakeholder groups in the nightlife and entertainment industry; assess and identify opportunities for these industries to grow; connect businesses to tax incentives, financing, workforce services and other business assistance programs; and connect businesses to technical assistance providers.

“The NightlifeSF initiative is an exciting effort to bring together and grow the local music industry,” said Michael Romanowski, Owner of Michael Romanowski Mastering and Coast Recorders and the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy. “I am very confident that this initiative will increase the opportunities for local musicians to strengthen their community and to build their careers in vibrant and creative San Francisco.”