Sunset District

Press Release: Supervisor Gordon Mar Announces #SunsetStrong

Gordon Mar announces #SunsetStrong, a community-driven initiative encouraging residents to support small businesses in the Sunset

On April 18, District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar announced a new initiative to support small businesses in the Sunset District of San Francisco: #SunsetStrong, a collection of resources that will help residents identify and support neighborhood businesses in the midst of the current public health crisis and shelter-in-place order. 

Due to the pervasive impact of COVID-19, small businesses in the Sunset have taken huge hits and losses. At the same time, residents looking for goods and services may be ordering from online vendors outside of the area. Instead, #SunsetStrong will help residents shop locally with the slogan: “We’re in this together.” 

“Through this pandemic, our office is working to ensure that we are hearing voices from all our constituents so that we can get their needs met,” Mar said. “Last week, we hosted Sunset Town Halls focused on public health and housing stability. This week, we will be discussing how to support small businesses during this crisis. We want to make sure local businesses are aware of the City’s relief programs for small businesses. At the same time, we’re finding ways to work together as a community to build resilience and solidarity. #SunsetStrong is the result of those efforts. I am proud to see our District come together in this crisis and demonstrate that we’re in this together.”

The objectives of #SunsetStrong are to:

  • Shine a light on neighborhood businesses that are providing access to goods and services whether in person or remotely;
  • Help Sunset District residents more easily support local businesses owned and operated by friends and neighbors;
  • Bring our community together in this stressful time;
  • Spread the uplifting stories of how we are helping each other through this crisis. 

#SunsetStrong also represents #SunsetSolidarity, standing united with the Asian American community in the wake of increasing racial violence fueled by hateful rhetoric coming from the Trump administration. Our neighborhood will not tolerate any form of hate or discrimination. This is a time of support and unity.

What is #SunsetStrong: Supervisor Mar’s staff has been working to build out a comprehensive list of businesses that are still open for essential goods and services, are selling gift cards, or are offering online shopping. A core group of Sunset small business owners is collaborating to turn that information into #SunsetStrong, a website and outreach campaign that will help the community discover where they can shop locally. With the initial launch, the site will consist of a directory of neighborhood businesses with information about how they can be accessed and what they are offering. The group will promote the website with bold, colorful posters displayed in store windows through the district as well as through social media and online vehicles. The project will be supported with an ongoing campaign to highlight neighborhood businesses and communicate the ways we as a community are supporting each other (#SunsetSolidarity). 

Community Initiative: The group initially came together on a Zoom call hosted by Supervisor Mar with small business owners in District 4. Mar wanted to hear about ways his office could support them during this public health emergency that has led to an unprecedented economic crisis. While small business owners are doing all they can to continue to serve the community, participants called for increased awareness about how to shop locally – and #SunsetStrong was born. Kathryn Grantham, owner of Black Bird Bookstore, came up with the name; Eric Rewitzer, artist and co-owner of 3 Fish Studios, offered to create a logo and posters; and John Lindsey, graphic artist and gallerist at The Great Highway Gallery, offered to build the website. With support from Supervisor Mar’s office, the People of Parkside Sunset (POPS) merchant association and San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the resulting campaign will help Sunset residents learn how to eat locally, purchase gift cards, or shop online at neighborhood businesses.

“Community is about helping people feel connected. When people feel connected, they feel good about where they are, and feel they are part of something special. We found this out the moment we moved our studio into the Sunset district of San Francisco 10 years ago. We are honored our business is part of the fabric of this beautiful part of the city and proud to be part of #SunsetStrong,” said Rewitzer. 

Lindsey added, “I spend most of my days on the west edge of San Francisco and have done so for the last 30 years. Eight years ago I opened a small community-focused business in the Outer Sunset. It is incredibly challenging during normal times. With the current situation, it is now unpredictable and uncertain. It is the relationships that I have formed with the greater Sunset District that keep me right here. I know it is the same for everyone else and it’s gratifying to know we are in this together.”

More information: The group will continue to evolve #SunsetStrong as the impact of COVID-19 continues. If you are a business owner who would like to be added, would like to update your business’s information, or have any small business support questions or ideas for Supervisor Mar, please contact: Jenny Huang, Administrative Aide, Office of Supervisor Gordon Mar at (415) 554-7460 or jenny.huang1@sfgov.org.

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