Legacy Business Light: Spring 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to your quarterly newsletter about San Francisco’s Legacy Business Program! This is a forum for news and information, for and about the owners and operators of Legacy Businesses.
April 23, 2024

The Legacy Business Program is part of the San Francisco Office of Small Business. It is the first-of-its-kind program in the United States and is pioneering a new take on government's involvement in maintaining and promoting the small business community.

New Legacy Businesses

Currently, a total of 402 businesses have been added to the Legacy Business Registry since it started in 2015. Entrants from February-April 2024 include:

Press Highlights

‘The Stud,' San Francisco's oldest LGBTQ bar, reopens in new location

"After a four-year closure, an iconic San Francisco bar has a new home. The city's oldest gay bar 'The Stud' closed early on during the pandemic..."

See the coverage at NBC Bay Area

Community Music Center Celebrates Grand Opening of New Building

“... the Mission District community gathered to celebrate the expansion... with a celebrity-blessed ribbon-cutting ceremony.”

Read the full article in San Francisco Classical Voice

New SF legacy businesses say they 'must be doing something right'

“The San Francisco Small Business Commission added 12 businesses to its registry earlier this week...for becoming staples...”

Read the full article in the San Francisco Examiner

News and opportunities

Legacy Business Passport

Starting on May 1, our office will be encouraging residents and visitors to pick up a pocket-sized booklet featuring nearly 80 participating Legacy Businesses. Once they collect 25 stamps, they win a prize!* The program runs through December 20, 2024. Booklets are free and purchase is not required to participate.

The Legacy Business Passport is a campaign from Shop Dine SF and the Office of Small Business.

*Prizes available while supplies last.

Legislation enacted to enhance the Legacy Business Program

Mayor London N. Breed signed legislation on March 28 to enhance the Legacy Business Program. The ordinance, which was co-sponsored by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, will allow the City to provide funding directly to Legacy Businesses, with a goal of stabilizing these long-standing businesses which contribute to San Francisco’s culture.  

In November 2015, San Francisco voters approved Prop J, which established the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund and directed the Office of Small Business to award Rent Stabilization Grants to landlords that enter into long-term lease agreements with Legacy Businesses. The grants, which served as an incentive to landlords that may not otherwise extend or sign new long-term leases for longstanding businesses, resulted in 57 long-term leases established since the start of the Legacy Business Rent Stabilization Grant Program. 

However, under Prop J, landlords are not required to provide any grant funding to Legacy Business tenants. The new legislation will require landlords to share at least 50% of the grant with their tenants. This will apply to new grants; existing Rent Stabilization grant agreements will continue unchanged.

Review about the possible reforms to San Francisco’s business tax system 

Treasurer José Cisneros, Controller Ben Rosenfield, and the City’s Chief Economist Ted Egan have issued recommendations to San Francisco’s business taxes. They are intended to frame the development of a measure for the consideration of the voters in November 2024.

The recommendations are intended to mitigate risks in the current business tax structure in San Francisco, advance broad goals of simplicity and predictability for taxpayers, and promote greater equity for small businesses.  

Read more

Are you a “City Supplier”?

We encourage other City departments to patronize Legacy Businesses whenever possible, whether it’s for events or purchasing. To make it easy, we keep an updated list of businesses that are compliant City Suppliers. If your Legacy Business is a Supplier, double check that you are listed here.

If you’re interested in becoming a City Supplier, click here.

Upcoming Events

Heritage Happy Hour

3rd Annual Legacy Business Mixer

Thursday, May 9, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia Street 

The Legacy Business Mixer is a friendly celebration of San Francisco’s over 400 registered Legacy Businesses. It’s also a place for Legacy Business owners to meet, socialize, and network. The event will spotlight host Legacy Business Zeitgeist. Hosted by the Office of Small Business.

Small Business Week is coming up 

May 6-10, 2024 

This is the 20th annual SF Small Business Week, produced by the SF Chamber of Commerce. There will be numerous events for small business owners, along with campaigns to encourage the public to shop small and local.

Resources for Legacy Businesses

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. Email or call 628-652-4949.

Get help with hiring

The Office of Economic & Workforce Development’s Employer Services team is your workforce concierge and can assist your business with promoting jobs, finding local candidates, accessing hiring events, and introductions to workforce community partners. These services are available for bilingual and monolingual employers and employees.

Learn more about hiring services

Business-to-Business Spotlight on Art Supplies

Legacy Businesses provide goods and services to individuals and fellow businesses. Do you offer a discount to fellow Legacy Businesses and/or have services that you think might be a good fit for a fellow Legacy Business? Email it to Here are a few Legacy Business to consider as vendors:

Flax Art & Design

Flax has been at the center of the Bay Area arts community since 1938. Now run by the third generation of the Flax family, they offer an unbeatable range of art supplies to inspire creativity from paints and art surfaces, to drawing supplies and studio needs. You'll also find kid’s art and craft supplies and gifts for creatives in your life.


SCRAP is a creative reuse center and arts education nonprofit that breathes new life into old arts and crafts supplies and reduces over 200 tons of waste every year. SCRAP collects and redistributes these materials to underfunded educational programs and organizations, teachers, artists, parents, and students.

Paper Tree

Paper Tree has been a part of San Francisco's historic Japantown since 1968. Called "the Origami Store," they have the largest selection of Origami paper and books on the planet, as well as handmade cards, sumi-e brush painting supplies, wonderful gifts, and lovely Japanese incense. Their "World Famous Origami Museum" is also worth seeing.


Mendels is a family-run business filled with all of the supplies that creative types need: sewing materials, drawing tools, fabric dye supplies, paints, papers, glitter and gems, basic craft supplies, and  costume accessories including wigs, masks, makeup, and feathers.

Just For Fun

Just For Fun has been proudly serving the Noe Valley community since 1987. They have all the latest art and craft supplies as well as must-have toys and gifts for all the family. They also have an extensive range of greeting cards and wrapping paper for every occasion.

Britex Fabrics

A San Francisco landmark since 1952, Britex is a two story, family-run store contains fabrics from up-and-coming designers and fashion icons, laces, ribbons, notions, and buttons from around the world, plus a knowledgeable and multilingual staff.