City opens arms to small businesses

Small-business owners burdened with the high costs of doing business in The City have a new aid to help them navigate the famously long and bureaucratic process of starting or expanding a company.

Advocates say The City has been a difficult location for small businesses to function because of its permit process and recent bottom-line additions such as paid sick leave, a higher minimum wage and a employer spending requirement for The City’s universal health care program.

On Monday — the beginning of Small Business Week in The City — Mayor Gavin Newsom, Treasurer Jose Cisneros and small-business community members cut the ribbon on a new one-stop assistance center located in City Hall.

Voters passed Proposition I last fall to create the Small Business Assistance Center and allocate $750,000 for its first year of operations. It will be staffed with case managers to assess individual businesses’ needs and offer one-on-one assistance in fulfilling them.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier said it was the beginning of the “reromancing” of small businesses in The City, something that was necessary for a segment of the market that employs 60 percent of employees in The City.

“The last few years have been really hard,” especially on restaurants, Alioto-Pier said. “The City does need to pay attention.”

Newsom said businesses are sometimes sent to a dozen departments and agencies to receive the appropriate permits.

“We have decided to try and get all of those other stops and incorporate them into that first and only, final stop,” he said.

Small-business advocates lauded the new assistance center, but said they are still struggling to have their voices heard in City Hall.

“It will help, but there are still problems that exist in San Francisco,” said Scott Hauge, president of Small Business California.

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read