Statement from Mayor London Breed Calling for Extension of Small Business Eviction Protections
Local commercial eviction moratorium can only be extended if State Executive Order is extended beyond September 30
San Francisco, CA — Today, Mayor London N. Breed issued the following statement regarding San Francisco’s local commercial eviction protections. Local governments do not normally have control over commercial leases because those rules are governed by state law, but Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order in March, which allowed local governments to put in place commercial eviction moratoriums. San Francisco immediately enacted a commercial eviction moratorium for small and medium-sized businesses, which has helped to stabilize thousands of small businesses during the COVID pandemic.
Governor Newsom’s Executive Order is set to expire at the end of September, and if the protections are not extended, San Francisco will no longer have the ability to prevent commercial evictions.
“Our small businesses have been struggling for months, and even as we are reopening, these businesses are barely getting by. We need to do everything we can to keep our businesses stable and our commercial corridors from seeing even more vacancies. Our local commercial eviction moratorium has been critical in providing small businesses an assurance that they can navigate these really challenging times without fear that they will be evicted because they can’t make rent. It has given businesses time to work with landlords and property owners on rent payments as they wait to generate income.
Governor Newsom’s initial Executive Order allowing us to protect our small businesses in San Francisco was incredibly important. He has been a leader on this issue from the very start of the pandemic, which has helped our small businesses and employees through incredibly challenging circumstances. We are hopeful we can find a way to extend eviction protections and financial support for these businesses beyond September 30. The virus has not gone away, and our economy has not yet recovered. Without these protections, it will take us even longer for our economy to recover. We need this extension in the next two weeks to help support our small businesses.”
Background on San Francisco’s Commercial Eviction Moratorium
In March of this year, Mayor Breed announced a commercial evictions moratorium for small and medium sized businesses that can’t keep up with their rent for reasons related to financial impacts caused by COVID-19. The moratorium prevents any small to medium-sized business from being evicted due to a loss of income related to lost revenue or other economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor’s Executive Order on commercial evictions during the health pandemic, originally announced in March of this year (N-28-20), has been reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to stabilize the state’s economy. The Governor extended these protections via a follow-up Executive Order (N-71-20) that is in place until the end of September. These state orders allowed local governments like San Francisco to put in place eviction controls for small businesses. If the orders are not extended, those powers for local governments go away.