The Working Solutions Business Retention Team is focused on keeping small businesses competitive and affording them every opportunity to grow and attract new customers. The City of San Francisco created programs such as the SF Shines Façade and Tenant Improvement Grants Program and the Legacy Business Historical Preservation Fund to help businesses both be more competitive, and offset increases in rent that could cause displacement. The Business Retention Team helps to connect businesses with these resources and assist with the application process.
SF Shines: Façade and Tenant Improvement Grants
To help improve San Francisco’s business corridors, SF Shines Grants can help businesses in vital corridors with updating and improving their appearance, as well as address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance in order to attract new customers and grow business.
Business with long term leases (or three years minimum remaining on their lease) are encouraged to apply. Generally, a business is expected to contribute a 25% match, with the City covering 75% of the project cost.
SF Shines Neighborhoods:
- Central Market
- Lower 24th Street
- Ocean Avenue
Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund
In November 2015, local voters approved Proposition J, allowing for the creation of the San Francisco Legacy Business Historical Preservation Fund, to help strengthen the resiliency of long-term neighborhood-serving small businesses. In order to apply for funding through the Legacy Fund, a business must first be approved for the Legacy Business Registry.
Legacy Business Criteria:
- 30 years or more in business
- Have been nominated by a member of the Board of Supervisors or Mayor
- Prove that your business has made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood in a hearing before the Small Business Commission
There is a limit of 300 businesses annually that will be admitted to the Legacy Business Registry.
Working Solutions can help eligible small businesses with the application process.
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Please fill out the Business Retention Inquiry Form if you require assistance with accessing business incentives in San Francisco.