Small business newsletter for January 2023

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

The recent and ongoing winter storm systems are impacting many small businesses. Our office is working on resources to help small businesses recover from winter storm impacts. As part of this, San Francisco needs to provide documentation about property damage. If your small business was damaged, please share a few things with us so that we can get some federal, state and/or local resources activated. Please email this detail to  

  • Business name/Location 

  • Photos of damages 

  • Estimated cost of damages 

  • Whether you have insurance that would cover these damages 

We will continue to share information and resources on and via social media, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Please stay tuned for more information in the coming days. 

Announcements & Highlights 

Important update for food service businesses that use 3rd party delivery apps (DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, etc.)  

Review and update your contracts by January 30, 2023  

The rules for 3rd party delivery services have recently changed, impacting the delivery fees businesses pay. Beginning on January 31, 2023, 3rd party delivery services must offer you a contract option with a maximum delivery fee of no more than 15%. You will likely have to proactively change your contract if you want to take advantage of the 15% fee option. Otherwise, it may revert to a higher fee beginning on January 31, 2023. 

Find out more at, or reach out directly to the service(s) you use 

New requirement for employers about employee pay scales 

Effective January 1, 2023 

Key changes impacting small business employers: 

  1. Employers with 15 or more employees are now required to post the pay scale for an open position in their job postings. This includes third parties posting on behalf of employers.  

  1. Current employees can request the pay scale for their current position.  

  1. Employers must keep records of job title and wage rate history for each employee throughout their employment and for three years after termination.  

Detailed rules 

Two kiosks available for lease at Union Square Market St Station 

Each kiosk is about 90 square feet and includes existing power and sink connection. If you’re interested in an available space, businesses would need to submit written proposals. To request a document with more information and instructions for the written proposal, email or call 415-646-2188. 

Café tenancy at 525 Golden Gate Ave. 

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is seeking a cafe tenant for its headquarters building. You may attend the café tour on Wed, Jan 25 at 10am followed by the informational meeting at 11am in person or virtually to learn more before applying. 



Shared Spaces application deadline: January 15, 2023 

Businesses have until January 15, 2023 to submit an application to transition an existing Shared Space to a more permanent one. Submit your application as soon as possible to ensure permitting staff have time to provide strong customer service and support.   

Here are resources for businesses with Shared Spaces: 

General Shared Spaces Questions? Email:    

Footprint and Loading Zone Questions? Email:   

ICA’s The Lab business accelerator program 

Applications open January 6 

ICA provides coaching, connections, and capital to grow Bay Area businesses and close the gender and racial wealth gap. The Lab at ICA is an 8-week program for high-potential, seed-stage companies earning revenue. Qualifying participants are eligible for up to $50K in investment from ICA following completion. 


Kickstart Your Business @50+  

Program begins February 27, 2023 

Blissen and SF Tech Council offer a 10-week “Kickstart Your Business at 50+” program online. This opportunity is designed to guide aspiring older adult entrepreneurs through the step-by-step process of bringing their business ideas to life. Some previous businesses that went through the program include tutoring services, carpet cleaning, home care, tech consulting, financial advising, yoga/wellness classes, and personal or life coaching. 

Find out more 

Legacy Business Spotlight 

Canton Bazaar is a gift store specializing in Asian-inspired merchandise. Our two floors in the heart of Chinatown are virtually a one-stop shopping experience for souvenirs and art. You can get everything from a pair of chopsticks to a seven-foot giltwood Buddha with mirror inlay. Their staff is very helpful and always there when you need them, too. 
The Legacy Business Program recognizes over 300 iconic, long-standing businesses 

Webinars & Events 

Jan 10, 17, 24 

Selling Your Art  

A 3-part webinar series offered by the Small Business Development Center. Part 1 is “Pricing your art,” part 2 is about selling your art online, and part 3 is about selling your art offline. 


Jan 11 

Hire Safely 

This is a webinar about the first steps for small business employers, covering the basics of labor and employment rules. Offered by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and the Community Business Law Center. 

Learn more 

Jan 18 & 24 

Green business info session 

Two session, one online and one in person, presented by En2action and Bayview Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Learn how to become a certified Green Business, and increase your business’s sustainability while growing your network and customer base. 


Jan 19 

Finance For Non-Financial Folks 

Learn the basics of finance and accounting that will allow you to manage money in your business so that you can make the best decisions, applying the necessary tools such as budgets, balance sheets, and cash flow, among others. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 


Jan 24 

Intellectual Property for Small Businesses  

Join Legal Services for Entrepreneurs for an introduction to intellectual property for small businesses. Learn about the differences between patent and trademarking. 


Jan 25 

Before you sign that lease 

There are many parts of a commercial lease that you can and MUST negotiate with the landlord to increase the odds of success for your business. An experienced business and real estate attorney will help you understand the fine print in typical commercial leases. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center 


Jan 25 

Become a San Francisco Green Business 

Learn how to become a Green Business in San Francisco. Get connected to incentives, free technical assistance, expert audits, rebates, and educational resources. Presented by the San Francisco Department of the Environment at the Main Branch of the SF Public Library. 


Prevent burglaries 

Here are some tips for preventing and responding to burglaries: 

  • Register your most current contact information with the Police Department in case officers need to contact you during non-business hours. 

  • Update all of your contact information with your alarm company and ask them to check to make sure your alarms are properly set. If you don’t have an alarm, install one. One with an audible alarm on the outside of the business and flashing lights to alert neighbors in the event of a break in is recommended. Use window stickers to alert would-be intruders you have an alarm system. 

  • Have a closing protocol with employees to ensure that items of value are properly secured, and the premises are locked properly in the evenings. Do not leave large amounts of cash on the premises. Leave cash register drawers empty and visibly open. Lock any electronics in a safe that might be tempting targets, such as point of sale systems and tablets. 

  • Install visible video cameras to both deter a break-in from happening and aid in follow-up investigations. Internal and external Ring cameras are an inexpensive option. Using a Ring camera with a motion activated flood light inside your business is a clever solution. Make any video at the scene available for the officers in a timely manner. 

  • Speak to your residential neighbors and make sure they have your contact information in case they see something suspicious. 

  • Keep the business lit at night with energy-saving LED bulbs. 

  • Contact the police and report any suspicious incidents or activities, such as attempted forced entries, trespassers who enter into employee only areas, persons who appear to be conducting surveillance to determine store protocols and security matters etc. 

  • In the event of a burglary, call 911 and report it – no matter what is taken. Try not to disturb the crime scene as this will help the SFPD CSI team. 

  • Be careful what you post on social media that might indicate the premises is unguarded or empty for an extended period. 

  • Contact SF SAFE and request a security training for you and your employees 

Find more community resources 

Lunar New Year 

Shop local this Lunar New Year to support San Francisco's small businesses! From special events to red envelopes, sweets, home goods, clothes, and meals, find all that you need for Lunar New Year celebrations and traditions.