In 2015, the Board of Supervisors created the San Francisco Legacy Business Registry. The registry is open to San Francisco businesses that are 30 years or older, have been nominated by a member of the Board of Supervisors or Mayor, and in a hearing before the Small Business Commission, prove that they have made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood.
The program, designed to protect small, legacy businesses in the city, provides grant funds to any business on the registry, as well as to property owners who extend long-term leases to legacy businesses.
Only 300 business can be nominated annually and all applicants must agree to maintain the historical name and essential business operations, physical features, craft and traditions of their businesses.
Two Richmond District businesses were among the first to be named to the registry – Toy Boat Dessert Cafe and Pacific Cafe – in August 2016. According to the program’s annual report that was published last month, Toy Boat received a $2,000 business assistance grant for tenant and facade improvements, and Pacific Cafe received $4,500 for rent assistance.
Four more Richmond District businesses were also accepted into the program during 2016 – 2017. In October, Green Apple Books (both the 560 Clement and Sunset locations) received legacy status and a $16,000 grant, $13k of which went towards tenant improvements.
In December, Hamburger Haven (800 Clement) received legacy status, as well as a $2,500 grant for rent. Joe’s Ice Cream (5420 Geary) joined the program in January 2017, followed by Boudin Bakery (399 10th Ave) in March. Fun fact: Boudin hosts the attraction “The Bakery Tour” at Disney California Adventure, where tourists are given a tour about how sourdough bread is produced.
Businesses must be nominated by a Supervisor and then apply for acceptance into the program. Since its inception, the Legacy Business Program has received 154 nominations, 103 applications, and has listed 76 businesses in total on the registry.
As of March 31, 2017, the Richmond District has 5 businesses on the registry (the Boudin location that applied was their company HQ in Fisherman’s Wharf). Districts 3 (North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Polk Gulch, Union Square/Financial District and Russian, Nob and Telegraph Hills) and 9 (Bernal Heights, the Mission, and the Portola) have the most, with 15 and 14 respectively.
Congratulations to the businesses that were named to the registry. Let’s hope we have them around for many more decades!