Press Release

Press Release: Supervisor Chan to Propose Anchor Business Legislation

From Supervisor Connie Chan:

March 23, 2021

Supervisor Connie Chan to Introduce Legislation Creating the Neighborhood Anchor Business Registry

On Tuesday, March 23, Supervisor Connie Chan will introduce legislation to expand the Legacy Business Program and create a second tier of small businesses known as Neighborhood Anchor Businesses. The legislation would prioritize Legacy Businesses and Neighborhood Anchor Businesses for City grant programs for small businesses and legal aid services to prevent commercial evictions. 

“As we recover from the impacts of this pandemic, it is critical that we do everything we can to support our local small businesses, particularly those who have been serving our neighborhoods for decades,” said Supervisor Connie Chan. “This legislation will expand our Legacy Business Program and celebrate our long-standing small businesses by providing them with the support they need to prevent eviction and continue serving our neighborhoods.”

These are small businesses who have been bringing foot traffic to our neighborhood commercial corridors since before the Great Recession. Over the years they have proven themselves as viable and culturally significant assets to our neighborhoods and should therefore be prioritized for City resources and legal aid to prevent displacement. The legislation is co-sponsored by Supervisors Matt Haney, Hillary Ronen, Dean Preston, and Shamann Walton.

For a business to qualify as a Neighborhood Anchor Business, the business must:

  • Have 100 or fewer employees
  • Have operated for 15 or more years in a storefront within a Neighborhood Commercial District, Historic District, or Conservation District in San Francisco
  • Not have any pending complaints or findings of misconduct within the past five years from the state or local Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
  • Be either nominated by the local merchants association for the area, or by petition signed by 50 or more residents who live within one mile of the business, and confirmed by the Office of Small Business

The legislation will make it City policy to prioritize Legacy Businesses and Neighborhood Anchor Businesses in the award and administration of any appropriate grant or loan program for San Francisco businesses, subject to any applicable legal restrictions. It will also prioritize these businesses for commercial lease assistance, conflict resolution, and commercial eviction defense for small businesses. There are currently over 250 Legacy Businesses who have established themselves as long-standing pillars of our community, and this legislation will expand the impact of this successful program.

Last Thursday, the Government Audit and Oversight Committee of the Board of Supervisors held a hearing on small business rent relief during COVID-19. Dozens of small business owners called in to plead for debt relief and assistance with lease negotiations to allow them to stay in business after the commercial eviction moratorium is lifted. This legislation, coupled with more dedicated resources for rent relief and commercial eviction defense, will help San Francisco’s most culturally significant businesses survive this pandemic and continue serving our neighborhoods.

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