tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV April 21, 2021 6:30am-7:01am PDT
>> hello, everybody. thanks for coming out. today is a bright, sunshining day, turning our faces toward the sun and looking to help recover our businesses. we are couraging you to take the -- encouraging you to take the small business challenge, and the small business challenge, is for the month of may, can you shop and dine at only small businesses. with that, i'd like to introduce mayor breed, who's been such an advocate for small
businesses. it's been a pleasure to work with her office in creating shared spaces, so with that, mayor breed. [applause] >> the hon. london breed: hello, everyone. i am really excited to be here at manny's, with manny, who is not just the owner of this really wonderful space, but a commissioner with sharky on our small business commission, when we put these two together, they make magic happen, and part of that magic is really advocating fiercely for small businesses in san francisco. throughout the pandemic, they have been key for pushing for supports and fee and permit
waivers for a number of small businesses in san francisco, especially for the people that they play. in san francisco, i'm proud that we stepped up early on. we waived fees, we provided grants and loans and no interest loans and other resources to small businesses. in total, san francisco has provided about $75 million throughout the course of this pandemic, not including state and federal resources, but to help our small business community. last week, i was in japantown, announcing an additional $10.6 million in grants for small businesses who could not get access to p.p.p. loans and some of the other resources. because when san francisco starts to open, what's important to me is that we all recover together, and what that means is making sure that we support one another.
not just through city resources, but by going to our local stores and our businesses and our communities. now since this pandemic began, i am really proud that i would go out and walk in the neighborhoods, i would go to some of the these businesses, i would just walk down the street if i needed to pick up a plunger for my toilet or anything else -- go to the local hardware store or anyplace where i needed anything, and you know what? if we just take a moment to look around us, all the things that we may typically honestly order on amazon, we can find them right here in shops right here in our city right here in our neighborhood. [applause] >> the hon. london breed: now although i appreciate the selection and fast delivery of amazon because i have needs, i also appreciate and want to keep in business mom-and-pops,
like sammy, who he and his mom get up every morning at 4:00 to make it to their dry cleaners at 6:00 to get all the machines ready and do all the work. this is a family-owned business, and i've been going here because i was a kid, and because people aren't getting things dry cleaned as much, they've been struggling. it's important to me, as someone who uses them, it's important for me to continue to use them even when it's a small thing and i could probably clean it myself. it's important for me to support plant stores during the pandemic. i went from zero to 31, and i think now, i have 33. as soon as i walk past or drive past any plant store, i have to go in.
there's an aquarium on clement street that has not just fish but really good plants. there's furniture stores right here in the mission? what's the name of fiona's place? >> harrington furniture. >> the hon. london breed: it's a third generation irish family that owns it. you can go visit fiona, and she can get you anything that you want. there's something about connecting to your community. there's something about connecting to the small businesses in your community. it helps them stay in business, but it also helps us stay a better community as a whole.
some of you remember food land. it turned into another store, but we all called it food land, and we knew everybody that worked there because that's what being in the community is about. when we take the time to do that, something different happens. we connect, we connect with community. so what we're asking people to do for the month of may is to connect with community, to connect with our small businesses, to go out of your way, to go out of your way -- well, not just go out of your way, but to make effort to buy locally. during this pandemic, this is
what i've been doing, is going to my businesses. crystal way and a number of other crystal shops, they've been taking all my money, and plant shops have been taking all my money. i have a candle obsession, and i've been buying some candles at places down the street, as well. there's so many opportunities to shop locally, to dine locally, to help san francisco locally. let's roll up our sleeves, san francisco, in may, to buying our coffee locally, to support a small business that we've never visited before, and i'm committed, as we come out of this pandemic, our recovery begins, and we come out stronger and more vibrant and more resilient than ever, and that means that we leave no san
franciscan and no san franciscan business behind. thank you for joining us. don't forget, #sanfranciscosmall businesschallenge. ultimately, i will be supporting small businesses in san francisco, and i invite all of you here to take the challenge. >> we put some crystals down here for the mayor. >> the hon. london breed: good energy. >> so we have a special surprise guest. state assemblyman david chiu will be making a couple of
marks. >> good morning, san francisco. we ready to shop locally? all right. so usually, i'm in sacramento on a wednesday, but i happened to be in town for a few hours, and i got the word this is happening. i have to tell you, i am so excited about this challenge, and the mayor, i know, has laid out just how incredibly challenging it has been for our small businesses. in chinatown, a year ago, in february, the small businesses in our country's oldest and most historic chinatown reported a 50% drop in business because of the expectation that, somehow, covid was floating around chinatown, and that has impacted not just that neighborhood but every commercial corridor in our city. i think the stats are close to 60% drops in revenues in small businesses in our city. so when i was contacted by sharky and ben bleiman and others about this idea, it's brilliant, but i know it's going to take a commitment, and
i will tell you, as i was running out of the house to join this, i asked my wife, i said hey, babe, i'm going to take this challenge. can you join me, and it literally delayed me five minutes because she said, dave, we often buy at big box stores. how are we going to do this challenge? i promised i am going to be buying all the groceries, but we have to do that because our small businesses are the heart of our economy, are the heart of our character and the heart of our city. i want to say, i just want to thank all the small business leaders. years ago, my very first position -- my first public position in this city, i was a small business commissioner. and 14, 15, 16 years ago, we
did not have the energy, the vision, the creativity of the leadership that we're seeing right at this moment, and we need that leadership more than ever, so just want to thank all of you who are hearing, moving this forward. let's get this done, make the challenge, and keep it going. thank you so much. >> and dave, i just want to say, my wife and i had the same discussion, and a 15-minute debate. so with that, i'm going to introduce manny yekutiel, who is the owner of manny's and who is a small business commissioner. >> thank you. i just want to say welcome to manny's. it's many things in one, and i just want to say how happy i am
to be able to stand here on our shared spaces and say, we survived, we made it. honestly, i think a lot of small business owners were sure that this day would come, and i want to say, i think a third of the businesses that were opened in january 2020 are closed. we don't know how many are closed temporarily, how many are closed permanently. but i am so excited because one, if you take this san francisco, if you get your token and you use it, you will be bringing much needed business to small businesses like mine. secondly, with this challenge, it'll change some of the behaviors of our fellow san franciscans, and next time we want to order something off amazon or something for convenience sakes, they will
remember the mom-and-pop hardware store in the neighborhood. they'll remember the small coffee shop in the neighborhood, and they'll say, i'm going to go support that small business. thank you to sharky laguana, the president of the san francisco small business commission, for taking this idea and making it so amazing and running with it. thank you so much to mayor breed for our tireless support of small businesses for the last 1.5 years, for getting it up and passed, and helping our retail and small business establishments survive, for finding $1.75 million for grants for our small businesses. thank you to assemblyman chiu for fighting for small businesses in the california state assembly. and thank you to everyone who will, for the next 30 days, will take the challenge and
say, for the next 30 days, i pledge to only shop at small businesses and help san francisco small businesses emerge out of this pandemic. thank you so much. >> thank you so much, manny, and we'll take questions at this time. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: you know, san francisco has really been very conservative in its reopening efforts, so even though the state has given us permission to go into the orange tier, we did not allow all of what was allowed under california state law to happen. we've proceeded with caution, and now with our hospitalization rates down, the number -- our reproductive rate and other things, we are able to do more, so we're able to
allow live music, we're able to allow venues and other places, and as you can see, the ballpark can allow for fans. when we're starting to open more, we still have a requirement to wear a mask, and the businesses and the entertainment, they will understand what those requirements are, and we expect them to be followed. for example, i was at a restaurant last night, and when the waiter was coming up, we still put on our masks even though we still were vaccinated. we want to make sure that people get vaccinated. we have about 60% of san franciscans that have received at least their first shot, and we're in a good place, but it doesn't mean we can get comfortable.
we still have to follow the health orders. enjoy san francisco, enjoy our small businesses, but do our very best to wear your mask and limit our interactions with people. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: no. what we did first, we deferred city fees for 20 and 21. so many of the fees, the bills that people get on a regular basis, they don't necessarily have to pay, so we deferred them. but then, we took it a step further and provided financial resources so that even though we can't say -- we had to come up with the money when we said to businesses, we're going to defer these fees, but now, you don't have to pay them, and so we had to come up with money in our budget to makeup for that
particular resource, so there are going to be many small businesses that will not have to pay city fees, so that's one of the things that we've done. we also have provided grants and loans, no-interest loans, and just last week, i announced an additional $6.10 million of grants to people who may not have been able to qualify for other things. so we have a whole spectrum of things: the latino revolving loan fund, the black resolving loan fund, so those are some of the major things -- of course, shared spaces, our equity applicants. about 40% of people who have shared spaces are minority owned businesses and have gotten some level of city support to do so.
we tried to make it as easy as possible. when the voters approved the proposition to make it easier to streamline the process -- for example, a woman who had a nail salon, she was able to get a permit within one day that allowed her to reopen her business as an ice cream parlor. so it's cutting the red tape so we can get businesses open. the city should not be an impediment to the ability of small businesses to operate in this city, especially as we're on our road to recovery. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: i am sorry. i can't hear you. [inaudible] >> the hon. london breed: i think we're going to have to continue doing some of the things that we're doing. there are a lot of -- i hear
restaurants. they're having trouble with hiring people, and we want to make sure a small business owner, that's a mom-and-pop shop, as they expand, they can find people to work in their shop and afford to live in san francisco. it's going to be a balance, so when there are resources available, there will be money in our upcoming budget that i will introduce to allow some additional support for our small business community, but we also have to continue to connect our businesses with the resources -- thanks goodness we have a new president and vice president because that has been so critical in helping to provide more resources to small businesses who have been struggling the most, so we definitely anticipate we will be doing more.