Small business newsletter for August 2023

Updates, trainings, announcements, and more, from the Office of Small Business
August 10, 2023

Announcements & Highlights 

Update on Small Business Permitting Improvements: Legislation going to Planning Commission on Sep 7, 2023 

Our office collaborated with Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Matt Dorsey, Joel Engardio, and Myrna Melgar to introduce legislation to facilitate easier permitting for small businesses, encourage economic recovery and growth, and fill commercial vacancies in San Francisco. Through over 100 changes to the Planning Code, the legislation will serve to ease restrictions, such as: allowing more business uses on the ground floor to help fill commercial vacancies; lifting restrictions on bars and restaurants in certain neighborhoods; easing the legalization process for existing outdoor patios; removing certain public notice requirements; and enabling priority permit processing for nighttime entertainment, bars, and restaurants.  

The next step in the legislative process is a hearing at the Planning Commission on Sep 7. This is a public meeting. 

If you would like to provide comment on the legislation to be included in the Planning Department staff report, please submit letters to and copy by August 29, 2023. Include the file # 230701 in all letters.

Find details about the meeting here. 

Request for Qualifications (RFQ): Consulting Services for the Small Business Development Center 

This RFQ is for business consultants to provide business counseling and training services to new and existing entrepreneurs in San Francisco through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  

Contracts can begin as soon as January 2024. An optional Technical Assistance Conference will be held on August 15 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Proposals are due by August 31. 

The full RFQ, application materials, guidelines, and other bid opportunities can be found online at

Save water and money with commercial equipment rebates 

Get money to replace inefficient equipment, such as ice machines, steam sterilizers or commercial laundry equipment with new water efficient models. SFPUC offers rebates to businesses that can help reduce water and waste-water costs.  

Learn more and apply  

Commercial ReUse Program for Restaurants 

This grant program managed by SF Environment supports restaurants to transition away from single-use disposable foodware items to reusables for dine-in service, including cups, plates, and utensils. Restaurants can receive free technical and a $500 incentive to help buy reusable foodware and utensils to replace single-use disposable items.  

Learn more and sign up for a consultation 

Employee Retention Tax Credit filings 

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a refundable payroll tax credit offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that provides up to $26,000 per employee to employers who retained staff during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.  

SF New Deal can provide technical assistance and one on one support to certain small business owners as they navigate the eligibility and filing process. Business owners and managers can reach out to find out whether they are eligible for SF New Deal’s low-cost assistance at, or 415-480-1185. 

Office of Small Business in the Community 

Let us know if you would like the Office of Small Business to visit your corridor and share resources for small businesses. Please send requests to:     


La Cocina Incubator Program 

Apply by Aug 31, 2023 

This robust incubator program is for food businesses and includes technical assistance and access to an affordable commercial kitchen space. All interested applicants must have attended one La Cocina orientation and will need to submit a business plan, a La Cocina application, two letters of recommendation, and have proof of income.  

Learn more about La Cocina and their Incubator Program 

Shared Spaces Equity Grants for Design Compliance  

Apply by Sept 27, 2023 

Shared Spaces pandemic permit holders who have applied for a post-pandemic permit can be awarded up to $2,500 to pay for materials or services to bring the Shared Space into compliance. 

Learn more and apply 

Commercial Eviction Protection: End of repayment period for smallest businesses 

Deadline: Sep 30, 2023  

Businesses with fewer than 10 full time equivalent (FTE) employees have until September 30, 2023 to complete any repayment to its property owner for missed rent that was owed during San Francisco’s commercial eviction moratorium period between March 18, 2020 to September 30, 2021.   

Since 2020, San Francisco has protected businesses by prohibiting commercial evictions because of nonpayment due to COVID-19 through the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance. This ordinance applies to businesses that have missed any rent that was due during the moratorium period.   

The Ordinance also gives certain businesses additional time to pay missing rent from this time period and prohibits a landlord from attempting to recover possession of the business location because of the missed payment until the end of the repayment or forbearance period.  

Visit this website for more information on whether the commercial eviction moratorium applies to you and find available resources.   

Legacy Business Spotlight 

Retail business for sale: Ambiance 

Ambiance is a San Francisco Legacy Business with two locations available for purchase, Irving St and Union St. Ambiance is a turn-key women’s boutique that offers a warm and relaxed atmosphere with a touch of vintage appeal. Can be purchased together or separately. Financing terms will be considered for qualified buyer. 
Contact Reedy Consulting & Analysis for more information: 415-987-3377 or 
The Legacy Business Program recognizes over 300 iconic, long-standing businesses 

Webinars & Events       

AUG 11 

Insurance Needs for Small Business  

Learn about the importance of business insurance to manage risk as well as understand why you need insurance and the types of coverage to consider to protect your business. This is a webinar hosted by the Small Business Administration. 

Learn more 

AUG 15 

Resources for Small Business Hiring 

Join a webinar presentation on City programs that help businesses hire employees. Featuring representatives from JobsNOW!, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Workforce Development, and the Office of Small Business. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 

Register by signing up for Ren Center  

AUG 16 

Capital Access Hub: Fueling Small Business Dreams 

Join the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center for an informative online panel discussion with capital experts who will share valuable insights and strategies to help secure the funding necessary for your business growth. 

Sign up 

AUG 17 

Protecting Your Creative Property 

This webinar is with Legal Services for Entrepreneurs and will provide information about how to protect the intellectual property for small businesses. 


AUG 21 

Schedule C and Other Small Business Taxes 

In this workshop, the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center will provide an overview of Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, and discuss how to calculate gross profit and gross income, identify and deduct expenses, and how to calculate net profit or loss. 

Sign up 


Attend a webinar to learn about lease negotiation 

In partnership with the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Office of Economic & Workforce Development is hosting Commercial Lease Negotiation Webinars. Attending one of these webinars is a requirement to apply for a Storefront Opportunity Grant. They are held in English, Cantonese, and Spanish, with additional language support available on request. 

Find the full schedule 

AUG 24 

Monthly Virtual Legal Clinic 

Join Legal Services for Entrepreneurs for a 1-hour consultation with a volunteer attorney. Registration in advance is required and spots are limited. 


AUG 28 

IRS: Business Use of Your Home 

This program with the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center is for entrepreneurs that operate a business out of their homes. It will provide information about how to determine the business percentage of home use, the types of expenses you can and cannot deduct either in full or according to the percentage, how to determine the limits on deductions, and where to deduct the expenses on your return. 


AUG 28 

Small Business Commission 

The meeting agenda currently includes: an update on the Shared Spaces Program; discussion about a new report from the Office of the Controller regarding how the City’s business tax system is being challenged by recent trends toward remote work; and vote on applications for the Legacy Business Registry Program.  


AUG 30 

Small Business Loans & Business Financing  

Main Street Launch, a CDFI based in Oakland, will talk about small business financing and what documents business owners need to include in a business loan application.  

Learn more 

AUG 30 

Introduction to Financial Projections 

Learn how to build financial projections for your business, in a webinar hosted by Start Small Think Big. This workshop will discuss considerations for unit costing, pricing, breakevens, scenario analysis, and other insights to help you make more informed decisions. 



San Francisco Event Producer Boot Camp  

Select one of four sessions to learn about the different resources for planning your next event, managing funders, sponsors, and complying with City permits. This program is led by Into the Streets SF and hosted at the Bayview Opera House. 


Shop Dine SF

A campaign for San Franciscans to spend your shopping dollars here. Visit shops, eat at restaurants, and get services from the small businesses that make San Francisco special. 
Visit or follow the campaign on social media to find events and initiatives across San Francisco! 

Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Coming up 

AUG 19 


Head to SOMA Pilipinas for a curated collection of emerging artists and merchants to celebrate San Francisco's Filipino cultural district! Located at the new open space at The Parks at 5M, enjoy local artisans, food vendors, art, and live music/dance performances. 
Find out more