Category Archives: News

New mayoral fellowship to improve late-night transportation for SF workers

Late Night 49 Bus - Photo by Torbakhopper

Over the past year, the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission have been leading a Late Night Transportation Working Group comprised of local transportation providers, representatives from late-night and early-morning businesses, labor unions with employees who work these shifts, nightlife advocates and other stakeholders interested in overnight transportation issues. Earlier this year, the Working Group published its findings and recommendations, identifying five key next steps to prioritize moving forward.

In order to help implement these important changes, OEWD is partnering with the SFMTA and Fuse Corps — a Bay Area nonprofit that places entrepreneurial professionals from the private and social sectors in leadership roles on high-impact strategic projects — to host a Mayor’s Executive Fellow focused on “Improving Overnight Transportation for Workers.” Starting in October 2015, the Fellow will work for one year with various City departments, regional government partners and local industries to help ensure that overnight transportation options better match the evolving needs of businesses, workers, residents, and visitors within San Francisco.

Candidates are expected to have at least ten years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a background in program management, transportation, workforce development, economic development, regional planning and/or coalition-building initiatives. The ideal candidate should also be passionate about the underlying issues of equity attached to increasing transportation options for San Francisco’s workforce.

Learn more about this fellowship and apply for the position at Fuse Corps’ web site.

City Programs for San Francisco’s Nightlife and Entertainment Businesses

San Francisco’s $4.2 billion nightlife and entertainment industry – including restaurants, bars, live music venues, and nightclubs – is critical to the City economy and vital to local arts and culture. As San Francisco continues to grow, you may be concerned about the impact that sound from your nightlife business may have on your current and future neighbors. Additionally, you may be wondering how to retain and grow your customer base moving forward.

These City services can help you strengthen your business in order to remain competitive and successful for years to come.

Address Your Sound Challenges

Concerned about the cost of materials for sound mitigation or other business improvements? Microloans sponsored by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development can provide fast and convenient access to funds at competitive interest rates.

Potential strategies for sound mitigation could include:

  • Sound blocking walls and curtains
  • Directional speakers
  • Speaker trussing
  • A vestibule door system
  • Enclosing your performance area

Not sure where your sound challenges are coming from? The San Francisco Entertainment Commission’s sound inspectors are available to help you identify sources of sound leakage.

Grow Your Business

Beyond addressing noise, strengthen and grow your businesses for long-term success! The San Francisco Small Business Development Center offers no-cost consulting that can help your business improve, with advisers specializing in:

  • Restaurant and bar operations
  • Access to capital
  • Financial management
  • QuickBooks
  • Business strategy
  • Marketing, advertising, and social media
  • Business plans
  • Product pricing
  • Retail

For more information about any of these services, contact Ben Van Houten at the Office of Economic & Workforce Development at ben.vanhouten[at] or 415-554-7038.

Encouraging Compatibility between Entertainment Venues and New Residential Developments

With the passage of new legislation in May 2015, San Francisco has become the first city in the United States to adopt protections designed to help entertainment venues located near new residential developments.

Among other provisions, the new ordinance encourages compatibility between entertainment venues and new residents by:

  • Authorizing the San Francisco Entertainment Commission to hold a hearing on any proposed residential development located near a Place of Entertainment and empowering the Commission to provide written comments and recommendations to the Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection about any noise issues related to the proposed project. These hearings will foster productive dialogue between venues and developers at the beginning of the residential development process.
  • Requiring lessors and sellers of residential property near Places of Entertainment to disclose to new lessees and purchasers the potential for noise and other inconveniences potentially associated with nearby venues.
  • Establishing that no Place of Entertainment located near a new residential development shall be a public or private nuisance on the basis of noise if the venue operates in compliance with its permits and appropriate laws.

For more information about the new law’s requirements, read a PDF copy of the legislation.

To learn how to find out more about new construction projects in your neighborhood, visit our page “Understanding New Construction Projects in Your Neighborhood.”

The Economic Value of Outdoor Events in SF

Outside Lands Festival - photo by San Francisco Travel Association

On April 21, 2015, Supervisor Scott Wiener released a study by the San Francisco Controller’s Office on the economic impact of outdoor events — including local festivals, parades, and street fairs — in San Francisco.

The Controller’s Office found that an estimated 3.3 million people attended 79 major outdoor events in San Francisco in 2014. Spending by event attendees in 2014 generated a $1.1 billion impact on the city’s economy, supporting 9,300 jobs in a variety of industries, including retail, food services, accommodations, and transportation. The Office of Economic & Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, and a number of local festival producers participated in the development of this study.

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • Event attendees spent an estimated $290 million at outdoor events
  • Food spending at outdoor events is equivalent to 10% of citywide spending at restaurants and bars
  • 58% of attendees were visitors to San Francisco; 85% of them reported that the main reason they visited the City was to attend the outdoor event
  • Outdoor events sustain a significant share of jobs in the hospitality industry, including an estimated 7% of restaurant jobs and 6% of hotel employment

Download a copy of the study as a PDF or read it in its entirety below.

The $1 billion in economic activity generated by outdoor events is in addition to the $4.2 billion generated annually by the City’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and live music venues, as determined in a previous economic impact study in 2012.

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