The Importance of Nightlife Businesses in SF

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Nightlife isn’t just a cultural benefit for the City; it’s also a major economic driver. The nightlife industry includes over 3,500 businesses that create 60,000 jobs citywide. According to a 2016 economic impact study update, the sector accounts for $6.0 billion in consumer spending annually.

According to the Controller’s analysis, slightly over half of local nightlife spending, an estimated $2.2 billion, is done by out-of-town visitors. Residents of other Bay Area counties account for 36% of nightlife visitors daily, and 94% of Bay Area residents visit the City at night to patronize a nightlife business.

San Francisco nightlife businesses also contribute to the local economy by supporting other local businesses. In 2010, the nightlife sector spent approximately $1.6 billion in local supplies and services, including $670 million on local food manufacturers and wholesalers, $580 million on local beverage distributors, $110 million on musicians and other performers, and $260 million on other local service providers.

The nightlife sector also provides significant revenue to the City’s General Fund. Nightlife businesses paid approximately $80 million in local taxes in 2015, including $60 million (75%) in sales tax and $20 million (25%) in payroll and gross receipts taxes.

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