SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — City leaders are trying to spice up San Francisco’s club, bar, and restaurant nightlife scene by cutting back on more than 100 restrictions previously placed on small businesses.

Mayor London Breed joined Supervisors Joel Engardio, Matt Dorsey, and Myrna Melgar with introducing legislation to facilitate easier permitting for small businesses, encourage economic recovery and growth, and fill commercial vacancies in San Francisco.

Under the legislation, more than 100 changes to the city’s planning code would ease restrictions
through six categories:

• Enable priority processing for nighttime entertainment, bars, and restaurants
• Lift restrictions on bars and restaurants
• Incorporate new liquor license for music venues
• Ease legalization process for existing outdoor patios
• Remove certain public notice requirements
• Allow more business uses on the ground floor

“The success of our recovery requires us to keep making changes to how we support small
business in this city,” Breed said. “Small business owners are some of our most creative
people and we want our City to work in concert to get them to ‘yes’ when it comes to bringing
their ideas to life. We must change our system of burdensome regulation, taxes, and fees.”

In addition to the legislative proposal, Breed’s proposed budget extends First Year Free,
which waives the cost of initial registration fees, initial license fees, first-year permit, and other
applicable fees for qualifying businesses.

“Since the First Year Free program started in 2021, approximately 3,910 businesses have enrolled in the program, with 2,494 of these completely new, and the remainder are existing businesses adding a new location. The city has waived more than $1.37 million in fees since the program started,” the Mayor’s Office wrote.

San Francisco has struggled to bounce back to its pre-pandemic vibrancy in 2023. The city recently launched a multi-million-dollar public relations ad campaign to help San Francisco’s troubled public image and attract tourists.