Author Archives: Jorge Rivas

SF Shines: Facade and Tenant Improvement Grants


SF Shines

In an effort to improve the City’s business corridors, OEWD provides grants, design assistance and project management through the SF Shines program to improve storefront façades and business interiors.

The SF Shines Program’s objectives are to:

  • Encourage investment in the neighborhood
  • Increase neighborhood safety
  • Attract and retain retail businesses
  • Improve business identity
  • Restore the historic and architectural character of the neighborhood
  • Improve the pedestrian experience of the corridor
  • Assess and remove barriers to accessibility
  • Leverage the most investment return for the size of the grant

The SF Shines program is intended to assist with expenses for ground floor storefront façade upgrades and/or interiors. Grant funds may cover the cost of non-structural building improvements including removal of security grilles and roll ups, painting, rehabilitation of historic façades, replacement of storefront windows and doors, new signage, awnings, interior space upgrades and ADA improvements. SF Shines applications will be reviewed per the Program Standards. Project grants are reimbursed to the applicant once construction is completed.


Business and/or property owners are eligible to apply. Applicants must:

  • Show a commitment to the SF Shines Program’s objectives and the neighborhood with a long-term lease (minimum of three years remaining)
  • Obtain consent from the property owner
  • Have all required and necessary insurances and building permits
  • Be able to make a financial contribution to the project


OEWD offers the SF Shines program in select commercial corridors including:


Small projects generally take between four and six months to complete. However, projects may take longer depending on the historic nature of the property and the amount of work necessary to complete.

To learn more, please email or call (415) 554-4720.

Prior to submitting an SF Shines application, applicants will be asked information about the property including location, building use, type of business and potential improvements the applicant wishes to make. Select candidates will receive business technical assistance in addition to a program application for review by the SF Shines committee.





Healthy Retail SF

HealthyRetailSF provides individualized attention to businesses by providing concentrated and tailored technical assistance to address food access needs so that they may thrive.

Participating Businesses


  • Daldas Market
    200 Eddy Street
  • Amigo Market
    500 Ellis Street
  • Mid City Market
    868 Geary Street


  • Friendly Liquor
    1499 Thomas Avenue

Broad Street:

  • Ana’s Market
    105 Broad Street

Businesses Assessed


  • Green Valley Market
    491 Ellis Street
  • Dollars & Sense
    345 Eddy Street
  • Right Way Market
    593 O’Farrell Street


  • El Aguila de Oro
    5201 3rd Street
  • H&K Market
    1300 Fitzgerald Avenue


Merchant Engagement & Referrals

HealthyRetailSF is for corner store owners interested in becoming healthy food retailers. Workshops, orientations, and one-on-ones can be arranged. Corner stores will have access to technical information and referrals to businesses resources.

Assessments and Individual Development Plans

A business accepted into the program will have access to a rigorous assessment of their operations and healthy food offerings. A select few will have access to a suite of consultants, business tools, and programs to strengthen their operations and work towards becoming a healthy food retailer.



Or Contact:

Gabriela Sapp
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Consultant
(p) 415.254.5094 | (e)


CENTRALIZED RESOURCE: Interested businesses can access a suite of tools and programs at

REFERRALS: Specialized referrals will be available to interested merchants seeking assistance.

PRO BONO CONSULTANTS: Consultants will be assigned to participating businesses to provide assistance, monitor and guide recommendations.

ACCESS TO IMPROVEMENT FUNDS: Participating businesses will receive priority consideration for improvement grants and loan products.

food pic

Biz Fit SF

Small Business Strengthening Pilot Program

Biz Fit SF is designed to strengthen existing small businesses in San Francisco. In the program, the Office of Economic & Workforce Development and nonprofit partners work with a limited number of businesses in targeted Invest In Neighborhoods corridors. The goal of the program is to strengthen commercial corridors by providing concentrated and tailored technical assistance to address individual needs of existing businesses and ensure that they are healthy and can grow in the context of the neighborhood landscape. Businesses that participate in the program may benefit from increased sales, local job creation, improved sustainability of the business and access to grant funding to implement their customized development plan.

Ideal candidates for the program are small businesses willing to receive practical advice from business consultants at no cost and commit to investing the time and resources needed to help their business grow. Business owners who are accepted into the program will be provided with 10-15 hours of technical assistance services.  As appropriate, consulting will be supplemented by classes through service providers to enhance basic business skills (bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks, marketing, social media, cash flow management, inventory management, etc.).

Participating businesses will also receive priority consideration for OEWD’s SF Shines façade and tenant improvement grants, as well as referrals to City-sponsored loans and programs.

The program is currently being piloted in the following Invest In Neighborhood corridors:

  • Bayview (3rd Street)
  • Castro (Upper Market)
  • The Fillmore
  • Lower 24th Street
  • OMI (Broad and Randolph Streets)
  • Visitacion Valley (Leland Avenue)

To be considered for the program, businesses must be located in one of the areas above. For general inquiries or consideration for the program, you can download an application and submit it to Diana Ponce De Leon at

SF Municipal Transportation Agency Services

SFMTA-13-Logo-ONLINE-RGB-JPGThe SF Municipal Transportation Agency has a number of services available to community members and small businesses.

Notice a vehicle parked in one location for more than 72 hours? Is there a car blocking your driveway or sidewalk? Is there a broken parking meter, a faded curb, a damaged bicycle rack or corral, or a damaged traffic or parking sign on your block? Report it to 3-1-1 and SFMTA will do it’s best to take care of it as quickly as possible.

Does your neighborhood need accessible street signals, traffic calming, or other transportation improvements? Street improvements that make a street friendly and accessible for all users and can help attract visitors to a neighborhood. The Sustainable Streets Division SFMTA is responsible for designing, directing, and managing all traffic engineering functions within San Francisco, including placement of signs, signals, traffic striping, and curb markings to promote the safe and efficient movement of people and goods throughout the City. If you have any suggestions, concerns, or requests about roadway safety, street parking, or traffic circulation in San Francisco, please contact the Sustainable Streets Division online using the 3-1-1 self-service portal or call 3-1-1.

San Francisco is already recognized as one of the foremost bicycling cities in the county, and bicycle use is on the rise. This rapidly growing population can be an opportunity to attract and keep new customers. Racks and corrals can bring new visitors to your business and neighborhood. Businesses and property owners can apply for on-street bike corrals. The demand for bicycle parking is higher than can be accommodated on the sidewalks. Approximately 8-12 bikes can be parked in one car space, making bike corrals a comparatively efficient use of roadway space. To request an on-street corral, contact 3-1-1.

Interested in promoting your business or neighborhood event? MTA has various advertising opportunities that can help attract more customers and increase foot traffic.

Planning a neighborhood event? If your neighborhood organization would like to close one or multiple streets for a community event, festival, block party, athletic event, etc., SFMTA can assist in formally applying to the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT)