Small businesses shape our communities

As a San Francisco resident who eats and shops in just about every neighborhood in our city, I deeply appreciate the contributions each small business makes to enrich our daily lives. That’s why we dedicate the third week of May every year to celebrate our small businesses during San Francisco’s Small Business Week.

One of the largest celebrations of its kind, Small Business Week includes a series of educational and networking events that honor and support San Francisco’s small businesses, the backbone of our local economy.

Each year, I also select one exemplary small business that has gone above and beyond in serving our community and adding to the fabric of what makes San Francisco unique.

I have selected Devil’s Teeth Baking Company in the Sunset as this year’s Small Business Honoree. Hilary Passman, owner of Devil’s Teeth, is a longtime resident of the Sunset district, and in 2010, she seized an opportunity to open up a bakery at Noriega between 45th and 46th avenues. This is a true “invest in neighborhoods” story. She has worked in partnership with her neighborhood and regularly volunteers her time along with merchants and residents to reinvigorate the beachside portion of Noriega Street. She spearheaded the organization of Noriega’s first block party in late 2011 and worked with The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and former Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office, to create a parklet that has become a citywide model for parklet design.

And while we try to attract more investments across every sector of our local economy, we always continue our focus on small businesses so that they can start, stay and grow here.

Through The City’s Office of Small Business, new and existing business owners can receive customized, one-on-one assistance on licensing and permitting requirements, legal and financing resources, business planning and counseling, and more. Working together with the Office of Small Business, my Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative and the Job Squad provides focused, customized assistance that meets the specific needs of San Francisco’s neighborhood commercial corridors and businesses to create jobs, fill vacancies and bring positive change to a neighborhood.

The theme of this year’s Small Business Week is “Small Business: Shaping Our Communities.” In addition to the great events happening during the week of Monday to May 18, many neighborhood merchants associations are working with their merchants to put on sidewalk sales for days of shopping for all and to celebrate our treasured small

Please get out to your local commercial corridor and support our small businesses all year round, but especially during Small Business Week!

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Ed Lee is the mayor of San Francisco.

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