Small businesses are suffering in the current rental market. They, like residents, are being priced out. Prop J is a new idea to help, by supporting “legacy businesses.” The City is already creating a Legacy Business registry. To be considered for the registry, a business or nonprofit must meet three criteria: they must have been in San Francisco for at least 30 years and founded or headquartered here; they must have contributed to neighborhood history or identity; and they must commit to maintaining their defining physical features or traditions.
Prop J proposes to create a fund to provide grants to legacy businesses and to landlords that sign long-term leases (at least 10 years) to legacy businesses. Prop J would also cover 20-year-old businesses that meet the same criteria and are at risk of displacement.
This is an interesting idea and worth a try. It is a pilot program: the funding is only guaranteed for the first year. If voters support it and it works, the Board of Supervisors is likely to continue to support it.
We’ve all seen beloved businesses close or move out of San Francisco. Prop J could help support businesses that bring our communities together. SFLCV recommends a Yes vote on Prop J.