San Francisco Launches Small Business Week
Starting May 1, a weeklong series of events will highlight recovery and celebrate the resiliency and vibrancy of San Francisco’s small businesses
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the launch of San Francisco’s Small Business Week, which will take place from Saturday, May 1 to Friday, May 7, 2021. This year’s small business week will include resources and information that will support small businesses and entrepreneurs as San Francisco gets on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Francisco’s 94,000 small businesses make up over 93% of total businesses in the city and support more than 364,000 jobs. As cornerstones of San Francisco’s neighborhoods and communities, the small business sector will be central to the city’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated many of our small businesses. Throughout it all, business owners and their employees have shown tremendous resilience and strength, with many adapting their business models and implementing public health guidelines,” said Mayor Breed. “With more businesses and activities reopening and more people getting vaccinated each day, the future for our City is bright. We all need to do our part to ensure our small businesses can recover and keep moving forward. This Small Business Week will provide San Francisco’s small businesses with resources and support to help them stay open and come back even stronger than before.”
The theme for the 17th Annual San Francisco Small Business Week is Roots of Recovery, and the week will include resources and information for small business owners at every point in their small business journey. The City has partnered with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to host a series of informational events, networking opportunities, and business-building workshops to highlight available resources and best practices for businesses as the city builds towards recovery.
“This Small Business Week is a great opportunity for San Franciscans to celebrate the incredible resilience of our small businesses and support our neighborhood merchants as they reopen after a year of unprecedented challenges,” said Anne Taupier, Acting Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Small businesses are the economic and cultural cornerstones of our communities, and right now they are relying on all of us to shop small, protect local jobs, and work together to support a stronger and more vibrant San Francisco.”
“Our San Francisco small business community has faced true hardships over this last year, but we have proven how resilient and vibrant our small businesses can be,” said Rodney Fong, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “Our residents have stepped up throughout the pandemic to support their beloved neighborhood businesses - that sentiment should be celebrated during Small Business Week and throughout the year. I look forward to this year’s San Francisco Small Business Week as an opportunity to help our small businesses as we look towards a recovery.”
This Saturday, May 1, Small Business Week will kick-off with the installation of 13 floral butterflies placed throughout San Francisco’s merchant corridors. The butterfly wings, built by local artists and designers, are six to nine feet in diameter and constructed of natural materials and fresh flowers. The wings are a partnership with the San Francisco Flower Mart, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and Kilroy Realty and are designed to attract shoppers to San Francisco’s merchant corridors. A map of the wings can be found on Shop and Dine in the 49.
May 1 also marks the start of the Small Business 30-day Challenge. Organized by Small Business Commission President Sharky Laguana and small business owner and SFMTA Board Director Manny Yekutiel, the challenge will begin on May 1 and go through May 31, with the goal of encouraging individuals to shop at local businesses for the entire month and for all of their shopping needs as much as they can. Individuals who choose to participate are encouraged to post on social media using the hashtag #SmallBizChallenge. More information is available here.
“It is so exciting to start to see the City opening up again, and the Small Business 30 day Challenge is a great way to help our small businesses recover,” said Small Business Commission President Sharky Laguana. “We all use online stores and services, so it is going to be an interesting challenge to see if we can get by for the month of May by shopping and dining only at our local small businesses. We hope everyone will tag their favorite small businesses with the #SmallBizChallenge hashtag, and visit our website at SmallBiz30.com to take our pledge challenge and find interesting places to shop!”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City of San Francisco has provided immediate and ongoing support for small businesses, including directing more than $50 million in grants and loans to more than 3,500 small businesses, tens of millions of dollars in fee and tax deferrals, and assistance applying for state and federal funding. This includes legislation introduced and signed by Mayor Breed to waive $5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants, meaning that businesses that receive a waiver do not have to pay back the fees at a later date.
In addition to creating and supporting programs that respond to the urgent and ongoing needs of COVID-19, Mayor Breed has continued to invest in programs that regularly support small businesses in San Francisco, including the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative and Grants for the Arts. Lastly, the City has advanced numerous initiatives to make it easier to operate and open businesses during COVID-19 and beyond, such as the Shared Spaces program and the Small Business Recovery Act legislation, which is currently before the Board of Supervisors.
Small business owners and employees looking for assistance should go to oewd.org/covid19. Businesses can also call the hotline at 415-554-6134, and employees can call the hotline at 415-701-4817. Assistance is available in multiple languages.
More information about San Francisco’s support for small businesses is available here.
About Small Business Week
This year’s San Francisco Small Business Week will take place from May 1-7 and is partnership between business and government organizations to honor and support the thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs that call San Francisco home. As part of National Small Business Week, it celebrates the contributions and achievements of small business owners by offering a series of educational and networking events designed to inspire, empower, and connect the members of our business community. For more information on San Francisco Small Business Week, go to sfsmallbusinessweek.com.