Small business newsletter for November 2023

Updates, trainings, announcements, and more, from the Office of Small Business
November 05, 2023

This month offers many opportunities to celebrate—and patronize—San Francisco’s small businesses! From Native American Heritage Month, to Diwali, to an extended Restaurant Week, and into the holiday shopping season, we hope that residents and visitors will integrate small businesses into these special occasions and celebrations. 

Announcements & Highlights 

Take a 10-minute survey about San Francisco housing 

Survey closes Dec 15 

San Francisco is required to plan for new housing on the western and northern portions of the city to address its affordable housing crisis. SF Planning Department wants to hear from small business owners about how new housing may impact your business and how the City can support you as we grow our neighborhoods with new housing.   

Your responses will remain confidential. Upon completion of the survey, you can enter a raffle for a chance to win a $50.00 Visa gift card.  

Take the survey 

Small business loans from the Mission Asset Fund 

The Mission Asset Fund has three loan programs, a microloan of up to $2,500, an immigrant loan, and a lending circle program. Information and materials are available in English and Spanish. 

Find out more 

Excelsior and Outer Mission Micro Technical Assistance Stipends  

Excelsior Action Group and other partners are providing between $300-$500 micro stipends to aid District 11 small business and nonprofits with Recovery and Reopening projects. Click here to find out if your business is located within District 11.   

Learn More and Apply Here 

Business Express coaching for Asian American and minority-owned businesses 

The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) launched a free business coaching program that runs until March 2024. It is a hybrid program so business owners can join virtually or in person in Emeryville. Business Express is a business coaching program that will help underserved small Asian American and minority businesses to take their business to the next level of growth. It is a workshop series where business owners will get a clear perspective of their business, develop a road map for growth and discover how to lead their business to success. 

Learn more 

Get a permit for an existing awning   

If your business has an unpermitted, existing awning, follow steps under a time-limited program to help you comply with City requirements.  The Awning Amnesty Program features a simplified application and waived fees, and is open through June 30, 2024.  

Permit Specialists with the Office of Small Business are available to help - or 628-652-4949.  

Learn more 

Updates on APEC 

This November, San Francisco will be hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting. During the week of November 11-17, we are expecting up to 20,000 delegates from across 21 APEC Member Economies, 1,200 CEOs from around the world, and over 1,200 media representatives for this 30th annual event.  
This is a unique opportunity to showcase San Francisco's vibrant commercial corridors, cultural districts and neighborhoods. 

Key facts 

  • Businesses, offices, and services can stay open! 

  • Employees and patrons may need to build in extra time to get around, especially near secure areas. 

  • The City and County of San Francisco government will remain fully operational. 

  • Some streets will be closed to traffic briefly for motorcades and special events. 

  • Transit lines and schedules will change. Some Muni lines will be rerouted, especially downtown and along the waterfront. Ferries will also be impacted. BART and Caltrain BART and Caltrain schedules will be the same. 

  • Call 3-1-1 to ask question and request City services  

Welcome APEC delegates 

Hang signs in your storefront window to welcome APEC delegates! You can find PDF versions for print here. Pre-printed signs will be available through select neighborhood merchant associations and available to pick up at the Office of Small Business at City Hall, Room 140. 

Understand local impact 

Most of the official events for APEC will take place at the Moscone Center from 8:00 PM on November 14th through the evening of November 17th. Find the most up-to-date information for security zone here.  

Information about APEC will continue to be updated at

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:      

Legacy Business Spotlight 

Heritage Happy Hour at Old Ship Saloon 

Nov 9, 5:00 – 7:00 PM 
Heritage Happy Hour offers a casual “no-host” gathering of heritage professionals, young preservationists, aficionados, friends, and Legacy Business cohorts interested in preserving San Francisco’s unique architectural and cultural identity. 
The Old Ship Saloon is a rare historic business that witnessed the birth of the city of San Francisco, survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, and is still operating today. The bar was built upon the ruins of a Gold Rush-era ship, the Arkansas, which ran aground on Bird Island (aka Alcatraz) in 1849.  

Sign up 

Webinars & Events        

Nov 7 

Pop-Ups 101 - Prepare for Holiday Markets 

In this 2-day workshop, learn about permits, licenses, and insurance you need to be part of a Pop-Up (temporary retail space/table). Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 

Sign up 

Nov 8 

Commercial Sales Hacks and Basics 

This webinar covers the essential skills to improve commercial sales. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. 


Nov 9 

Disability Entrepreneurship Event 

The 3rd annual event hosted by the SF Disability Business Alliance will include panel discussions, food, networking, and awards. 

Sign up  

Nov 13 

Restructuring your small business in challenging times 

This is a pro bono legal workshop to learn creative and resilient ways to picot and re-align your business for a stronger future. Hosted by the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center with the SF Community Business Law Center. 

Learn more 

Dec 6 

Citywide Labor Laws 

A day-long series of webinars on a variety of topics for employers in San Francisco. Topics include: Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave, Health Care Security, Lactation in the Workplace, Paid Parental Leave, Family Friendly Workplace, and Displaced Worker Protections, among others. 

Find more 

Shop Dine SF

A campaign to support businesses in San Francisco. Visit shops, eat at restaurants, and get services and experiences 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! Share events supporting businesses and commercial corridors by emailing

Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Coming up 

Share your pop-ups, neighborhood events, and activations! 

The holiday season is beginning and @ShopDineSF wants to highlight the many ways to support small businesses, like the Art Vendor Markets hosted by the San Francisco Arts Commission. 
Email with information, social media graphics, and social media handles to tag.