Good News SF - May 5, 2023

Welcome to our weekly “Good News SF Newsletter." This week we're excited to kick off API Heritage Month and Small Business Week!
May 05, 2023

If you’re reading this, thank you for subscribing and reading about all the good things happening this week in the City by the Bay. This newsletter is currently a pilot as we are currently testing out Substack for our readers. Please let us know what you think and if we change platforms, we’ll keep you in the loop!

Planning Commission Approves Key Downtown Legislation! Yesterday the San Francisco Planning Commision unanimously approved legislation introduced by Mayor London N. Breed and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, to support Downtown’s future as a place where people work, visit, and live.

The proposal will help fill vacant spaces by facilitating a greater variety of businesses and activities throughout Downtown and Union Square, and removing barriers to converting office buildings to housing - excellent news for the future of our downtown core! Read more about what the SF Standard had to say about the proposal last month here and check out the Mayor’s press release and the SF Business Times’ coverage of yesterday’s hearing.

Also worth checking out: ABC 7’s piece this week on all the changes coming to SF Union Square's retail scene.

Always Artistic, Always San Francisco. Looking to get energized and ready to go see all the great arts and culture SF has to offer? Look no further than SF Travel’s new "Always Artistic, Always San Francisco" video and campaign which highlights the amazing arts in the City. From Bayview to Downtown to Chinatown and the Presidio, you'll find creativity around every corner.

San Francisco's art scene is vibrant and dynamic, with a rich history of artistic tradition, from murals to cutting edge performing arts. Today, the city is home to a thriving community of artists who work in a wide range of media, from painting and sculpture to video and performance art. In its energy, its diversity, and its creativity, San Francisco’s art scene embodies all the best of the City by the Bay. 

Speaking of SF travel and tourism…this week the Chronicle reported that California tourism (SF in particular) is roaring back. With Asian countries like China recently opening their borders, the city is expected to see a major uptick in travel and tourism rates this year. Between this report, the Chronicle’s March report on travel, and the City Controller’s April report, here are some fun data points to know:

  • Last year in San Francisco, tourism spending hit $7.4 billion — more than twice what it was in 2021 — these visitors came into the city mostly from European countries that began to roll back travel restrictions.

  • Leisure and Hospitality are leading employment growth in the City. (Office of the Controller)

  • Domestic air travel improved in February; International travel to SF also improving significantly. (Office of the Controller)

  • There was a sudden uptick in volume on both the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge to SF in March, showcasing higher activity levels as Bay Area and Northern Californian local tourists are coming back in even higher numbers these days to visit the City. (Office of the Controller)

  • Downtown BART recovery ridership improved in March. (Office of the Controller)

What are your plans this weekend? If you need something fun and local to do - we’ve got you covered with a few ideas:

  1. The Ferry Building is resuming its outdoor Ferry Flicks film screenings starting TONIGHT, May 5th at sun down with Alfred Hitchcock’s SF classic, Vertigo.

  2. Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is kicking off its 6 month season tomorrow with “Roots of Jazz Latino,” a program exploring Afro-Latin musical heritage from a multi-national perspective. The event will be in Yerba Buena Gardens from 1-3:30 p.m. and is free to the public.

  3. The 3rd Monthly Yerba Buena Art and Makers Market is happening this Sunday in the Yerba Buena Gardens from 11-4 p.m. This month, OEWD and the Economic Recovery team is thrilled to partner with YBCBD on this event to bring together two great things - API Heritage Month and Small Business Week for the Islands by the Bay Festival. Come enjoy the market where you can experience the flavors and cultures of the islands.

SF Small Business Week kicks off next week and there are so many fun events and things to do!

With Small Business Week around the corner (May 8 to 12), come join the San Francisco Office of Small Business to celebrate San Francisco's inspiring small business community at these events.

  • City Hall Pop Up Shop

    May 9 (Tue) 11AM - 3PM

    City Hall, North Light Court

    Stop by anytime at this annual event. This year, the event will feature several new small businesses.

  • Small Business Boogie

    May 10 (Wed) 5PM - 8PM

    Ferry Building

    Experience the Ferry Building in a whole new way. Shop the stellar line-up of businesses, get special one-night offers/discounts, and boogie down along the way. There will be a live DJ and disco costume contest.

  • Legacy Business Mixer

    May 11 (Thur) 5PM - 7PM

    Anchor Public Taps - 495 De Haro Street

    A celebration of San Francisco’s over 300 registered Legacy Businesses. It’s also a place for Legacy Business owners to meet, socialize, and network. The event will spotlight host Legacy Business Anchor Brewing Company at their expansive tasting room, Anchor Public Taps. 

For more details and information on additional events, visit Additionally if you’re patronizing a small business or a Small Business Week event, please make sure to follow and Tag @ShopDineSF in all your social media!

Bhangra and Beats, the hottest nightlife sensation for everyone is coming to SF starting next Friday! OEWD’s Economic Recovery Team is thrilled to partner with Into the Streets on this new, free, outdoor marketplace and nightlife event coming to Downtown San Francisco over 3 Fridays in 2023.

Featuring live music, eclectic retail vendors and popular San Francisco food businesses, Bhangra & Beats Night Market will take place on Battery St between Washington Street and Sacramento Street from 5pm-10pm. The first event kicks off next Friday night, May 12th so mark your calendars and get excited to have fun! Check out what the SF Standard had to say here.

Looking for something new to try for your next dinner out? Check out the hottest new restaurants in San Francisco. When people get asked what their favorite things about San Francisco are, most will respond by saying 1) something about how beautiful and picturesque our great city is and 2) the food. From 5 star fancy restaurants to your favorite cultural phenomenon grab and go spots, SF has you covered and this list will make your mouth water as you discover new spots like AkikosSuraganOutta Sight Pizza, and much much more.

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