SAN FRANCISCO—On November 23, the Mayor of San Francisco and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) launched the eighth year of the “Shop and Dine in the 49” campaign, promoting shopping and dining within the 49 square miles of San Francisco this holiday season.Tthe campaign aims to encourage residents to support small businesses.
“San Francisco’s diverse small business community is what makes our City the special place we all know and love,” said Mayor Breed. “As we continue on our economic recovery this holiday season, it is more important now than ever before to shop local and support your favorite entrepreneurs and family-owned stores.”
A press release from the Mayor’s Office indicates the Shop and Dine in the 49 campaign promotes shopping at small businesses and neighborhood corridors throughout San Francisco. Starting on Wednesday, December 1, in partnership with neighborhood merchant associations, a trolley car with Shop and Dine in the 49 decor will bring holiday festivities to different neighborhood shopping districts throughout the city over three weekends. OEWD’s City Hall Holiday Pop-Up will return on December 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring over 35 local artists and makers in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.
A schedule of the trolley tour, as well as a calendar of holiday-related events, activities, and promotions planned by local businesses and neighborhood shopping districts, can be found at www.shopdine49.com.
“The Holidays are a critical season for small retailers, restaurants, local manufacturers and artists, and the people they employ,” said Kate Sofis, Director, Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “As San Franciscans begin their holiday shopping this season, we’re encouraging residents and visitors alike to shop local by visiting our neighborhood corridors or by ordering online from local retailers. Our diverse merchants are the bedrock of our communities and our economy. By directing our spending locally, we will ensure this Holiday Season will be an important milestone for our City’s economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.”
To support the promotion of the Shop and Dine in the 49 campaign, the city introduced legislation sponsored by Supervisor Stefani to waive permit fees for businesses seeking to conduct sidewalk retail sales between December 4th and 5th and December 11th and 12th, two of the busiest shopping weekends during the holidays.
“Small businesses are an essential part of what makes San Francisco such a vibrant and desirable place to live, work and visit,” said District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must do everything we can to support our local, small businesses to ensure they fully recover. I urge every single San Franciscan to join me and Shop and Dine in the 49 this holiday season.”
The Shop and Dine in the 49 campaign will partner with BART to promote local businesses accessible by public transit. BARTable, a website dedicated to promoting BART-accessible activities, will feature information on independently-owned businesses within a six-block radius of a BART station and provide promotional offers to riders.
“It’s important for us to uplift local businesses, especially during this challenging time.” said Rodney Fong, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “Local businesses make our merchant corridors the unique and vibrant streets that we all love so much and keep our economy healthy. That’s why The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is proud to support Shop & Dine in the 49.”
San Francisco is home to more than 90,000 small businesses that create jobs that employ local residents. Residents spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually at out-of-town and online retailers. This number increased during COVID-19 when nationally, online retail sales increased from 11 percent to 14 percent of all retail according to the U.S Department of Commerce. Despite loosening restrictions, online sales for the third quarter of 2021 remain 13 percent of all sales nationally, with projections that this trend is more pronounced in California and San Francisco due to the frequency of online shopping in California as compared with other states.
“When my partner and I started EI Home, we wanted to bring beautiful items to our customers,” said Eric Wang, owner of EI Home. “What we did not expect is that we would become a part of the community. When you shop local you are not only supporting a small business, its owner and staff, you are supporting the community. We enjoy working with our customers in a space that invites them to touch and explore the works of artists and local makers.”
Shop and Dine in the 49 is a public-private partnership developed by the Mayor’s Office with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of Small Business in partnership with local merchant associations, neighborhood community benefits districts, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Arts Commission. This year’s campaign is sponsored in part by Mastercard.
Since the start of the pandemic, San Francisco provided immediate and ongoing support for small businesses, including making available more than $63 million in grants and loans to support more than 3,000 small businesses, in addition to tens of millions of dollars in fee and tax deferrals, and assistance applying for state and federal funding. This includes legislation introduced and signed by the Mayor of SF to waive $5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants.