Although the city is only 49 square miles in size, San Francisco’s population is booming after reaching 1 million in 2013. After the 2008 housing bust, fiscal crisis and subsequent job losses in the area, the City by the Bay has rebounded and then some. Recently named the #2 top large city for job growth, San Francisco is also home to an incredible amount of successful tech businesses, such as Uber, Craigslist, Dropbox, Instagram and Pinterest, to name just a few. Although retail rents remain high, there are still affordable office suites available if your business is virtual and doesn’t need a storefront. In addition, San Francisco has several programs and services available to help nurture small businesses to success. Here are a few:
The mayor is encouraging residents and visitors to do all their holiday shopping and dining within the 49 square miles of San Francisco. Businesses participate by signing up and displaying a Shop & Dine logo in their business location. Then businesses and consumers are encouraged to take a picture of their participation and spread the news on social media. Businesses should contact their merchant association or Community Benefit District to get a decal or contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By joining the San Francisco Green Business movement, businesses learn best practices for conservation and are promoted on SF Green Business websites, in e-newsletters, in the press, in online and print advertising, at promotional events and mixers, and by displaying the window decal and program seal on their marketing materials.
QB3 is dedicated to helping life science entrepreneurs launch successful startups. Tools for success include research facilities, educational programs, internships, mentoring, incubators and a seed-stage venture fund.
To be a vendor for the city your business needs to be certified as a city vendor. As a Local Business Enterprise (LBE), your business must be based within San Francisco city limits and must have been operating in the City for at least six months. Certified LBE businesses can obtain a bid discount depending on the size of the business. This kind of certification and discount can make your bid more competitive, and therefore more likely to win a contract.
San Francisco has recently increased its minimum wage to $11.05 per hour, which will be effective January 1, 2015. The plan is to gradually increase the minimum wage, however, so as not to hurt small and midsized businesses.
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