San Francisco, CA – Today Mayor London N. Breed joined City leaders from the Office of Economic Workforce Development and Office of Small Business, as well as business leaders, to encourage residents and visitors to explore the City’s vibrant offerings of shopping and experiences this holiday season.
Over the last year, Mayor Breed has met with community members, small business owners, and other stakeholders to highlight supporting retailers locally as a critical component to the City’s economic recovery. Small businesses account for approximately 95% of all businesses in San Francisco and employ nearly one million Bay Area residents.
The beginning of the holiday shopping season is an opportunity for residents and visitors to make a pledge to shop local, dine at world-class restaurants, and take in the museums and other unique cultural experiences that make this time of year crucial for business.
“I am excited and hopeful that this holiday shopping season will be the best in years, but it will take all of us support our great City by showing up for our local businesses,” said Mayor Breed. “I have spent a lot of time with our local merchants, restauranteurs, community groups and business leaders, and the number one ask from the City is to help elevate our vibrant local offerings, which are incredible unique to San Francisco. So, this holiday season, I invite the community to join me to share their San Francisco pride by shopping and dining local, experiencing our vibrant arts and cultural events, and to enjoy our neighborhoods that offer special attractions year-round.”
As the City continues to build on Mayor Breed’s Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future, residents, employers, and visitors are encouraged to support San Francisco’s small businesses and neighborhoods this holiday season.
"Let's think before we click and find that perfect gift for our loved ones this holiday season at a local shop in your neighborhood," said Katy Tang, Director of the Office of Small Business. "We all love small businesses, so let's do our part and truly support them over the holidays and beyond by spending our dollars in our San Francisco neighborhoods."
Here are some tips to help kickoff holiday planning:
It All Begins Here: Support Local Businesses
- ShopDineSF has over two dozen neighborhood guides for “Perfect San Francisco Days.” Visit your own neighborhood shops, restaurants, and bars, or explore a part of San Francisco you’re less familiar with.
- Purchase San Francisco-made products as employee and client gifts. From specialty food to customizable items, browse a wide range of options at ShopDineSF.
- Pop over to a Pop-up: Vacant to Vibrant, an innovative program to activate Downtown, features 17 local activators including small businesses in the culinary, arts, and retail sectors.
- Visit In the Black marketplace in the Fillmore or online and support black-owned businesses.
- Support local artisans and makers at upcoming holiday pop-up markets at City Hall and the War Memorial Veterans Building.
- City Hall: December 12, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- War Memorial: December 14, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Throughout the City, holiday markets will be available to the public and this year’s SFMOMA Holiday Makers Market isn’t one to miss.
Union Square: Home to Your Classic Holiday Season
For generations, Union Square has been the place to come for residents and visitors seeking to find that holiday spirit. This year is no different, with holiday shopping, family entertainment, and new restaurants and stores opening. Here are just a few highlights:
- The Winter Walk is back! From December 15 to the 24th, Stockton Street from Post to O’Farrell will be closed to car traffic and replaced with a pedestrian plaza packed with food trucks, bar gardens, family entertainment, and more.
- Check out Chef Tyler Florence’s two new cafes that just opened on Union Square.
- The Safeway Ice Rink is open now for skaters of all skills and sizes now for the entire holiday season.
For even more activities, check out the Union Square Alliance’s Winter-Wanderland.
San Francisco is Home to World-Class Restaurants
In 2023, San Francisco restaurants were included in Bon Appetit’s The 24 Best New Restaurants and the New York Times Restaurant List, as well as defending its rankings on the Michelin Guide. This holiday season, enjoy the City’s renowned culinary offerings in a variety of ways.
- Book a table, take the night off.
- Buy Gift Cards – they make great gifts.
- Explore San Francisco’s vibrant holiday themed bars, too!
Give the Gift of the Arts
In 2022, the Arts and Culture sector supported over 12,000 local jobs and the City saw approximately $476 million in direct spending by audiences. San Francisco continues to rank as a top choice for the arts. From live music to Broadway musicals, the City’s renowned Ballet and Symphony, residents and visitors can enjoy it all here.
- Gift a membership to any one of San Francisco’s renowned museums.
- SF Broadway offers bundles and season tickets for year-rounds entertainment.
- The San Francisco Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker begins next month. Consider gifting tickets or a package to any of the 2023-2024 performances just announced.
Experience the City’s Diverse Neighborhoods and Cultures
San Francisco is home to many cultures and backgrounds, and a lot of what makes the City’s neighborhoods vibrant is its diversity. In fact, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest in the United States. For the holidays, we encourage people to venture over to commercial corridors in the Mission, Japantown, the Castro, Chinatown, Visitacion Valley, Bayview, Sunset and the SOMA Pilipinas district. Popular commercial corridors include Taraval Street, Ocean Avenue, Glen Park, Leland Avenue, Clement Street and Balboa Village.
Find gifts, treats, experiences and festivals across any of San Francisco’s cultural districts and neighborhoods. Click here to for a comprehensive list of the City’s merchant community.
“As the oldest Japantown in the nation, our merchants work hard every day to make sure that Japantown continues to shine,” said Grace Horikiri, Executive Director, Japantown Community Benefit District. “From traditional cuisines, iconic businesses to unique shopping destinations, people will find the perfect gift ideas and dining experience while they are here. I challenge everyone to come to Japantown for inspirations that will impress friends and family during this holiday seasons.”
“Please sure to connect with our local Filipino-owned merchants and SOMA Pilipinas this
holiday season to experience the rich cultural heritage and history we have anchored in the South
of Market neighborhood,” said Raquel Redoniez, Director of SOMA Pilipinas, San Francisco's Filipino Cultural District. “Come out to our Parol Festival and Halo-Halo Holidays to support our Filipino small businesses, creatives, and cultural artists.”
"We are proud to invite everyone to explore the Mission District for a holiday shopping experience like no other,” said Ryen Motzek, President of the Mission Merchants Association and business owner. “Whether it's unique clothing, rare imports, handmade jewelry, or art, this eclectic neighborhood has everything to fulfill your festive needs."
“The holidays season is one the most important times for all of our mom-and-pop shops here in Chinatown,” said Lily Lo, Founder of BeChinatown. “We are coming together and we are bouncing back. All year around, we have worked to revitalize our historic alleyways with the beautiful bright red Chinese lanterns which everyone loves, and we have worked to organize and promote the recent successful night market here in Chinatown. This is the moment our community has been waiting for, and we need everyone to support this amazing neighborhood that has so many wonderful stories to tell. As our efforts to promote and uplift small businesses continue, we are optimistic for a strong shopping and dining season as residents and visitors look for gift ideas, authentic dining experience and warm hospitality.
“Come to Leland Avenue in Visitacion Valley as part of your shopping destination as you embark on this year’s gift shopping journey!” said Ken and Kellie McCord, owners of Mission Blue and merchant leaders in Visitacion Valley. “In our neighborhood, you will find the most diverse community running the most amazing businesses. As you take a stroll down this wonderful business corridor, you can get a haircut, try out different lunch spots, sip on some coffee surrounded by gift ideas. Don’t forget to check out the Vis Valley Greenway. You will even find San Francisco-made chocolate produced right here on Leland. Whatever you are looking for, our neighbors and residents are ready to point you in the right direction, all within just blocks.”
‘The Bayview community is excited and ready for the holiday shopping and dining season,’ said Lawanda Dickerson, Bayview merchant leader and Small Business Commissioner. 'As a merchant leader and Small Business Commissioner, I want to highlight and advocate for the importance of supporting local merchants who rely greatly on all of the opportunities and momentums this upcoming holiday season will bring. I cannot wait to see when residents and visitors come to the Bayview to do their shopping and eating, let's make sure we take every opportunity support our black-owned and all the local businesses, and everything our wonderful neighborhood has to offer.'
“Chinatown is ready to welcome shoppers and diners to come here for some of the most amazing local flavors and dining experience,” said Wade Lai, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. “I know that our merchants are as excited as I am to meet people from all around the world. I am confident that people will find the most authentic dining experience and marvelous gift ideas as they explore up and down the streets and alleyways in the most historical and best Chinatown in the world. I cannot wait to see and hear all the magnificent stories and experience people will share with me or on social media.”
“We are on the ground every day to work with merchants in the Sunset and Chinatown, so we deeply understand their anticipation for all the opportunities during this holiday season,” said Anni Chung, Executive Director, Self Help for the Elderly. “Our business development and economic recovery team would be so grateful, and encourage our residents and visitors to patronize and support all things local as they gather for events and shopping for friend and family. The upcoming months will be so crucial for our wonderful small businesses as they work so hard for our City’s economic recovery.”