PRO & CONS – PROPOSITION J – NOVEMBER 3, 2015

PROPOSITION J – LEGACY BUSINESS HISTORIC PRESERVATION FUND

Ordinance

Placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors Campos, Avalos, Kim, and Mar

Requires a simple majority vote for passage

 

THE QUESTION:

Should the City establish a Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund, which would provide grants to Legacy Businesses and building owners who have leased space to Legacy businesses for at least 10 years; and expand the definition of a Legacy Business to include businesses that have operated in San Francisco for more than 20 years, are at risk of displacement and meet the existing Registrar’s requirements?

BACKGROUND:

City code currently provides for a legacy business registry.  SEC. 2A.242.  The purpose of the Registry is to recognize that longstanding, community-serving businesses may be valuable cultural assets for the City.  The City’s Office of Small Business manages the registry.  The City intends for the Registry to be a tool for providing. educational and promotional assistance to Legacy businesses, encouraging their continued viability and success. The current program does not provide grants to qualified historic business owners or landlords.

 

THE PROPOSAL:

This measure would amend the City Administrative Code to assist long-operating businesses to remain in the City.  The purpose of the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund is to maintain San Francisco’s cultural identity and to foster civic engagement and pride by assisting long-operating businesses to remain in the City.  Nominations for Registry participants would be limited to 300 per year.

The Preservation Fund would be funded in the City budget as approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Incrementally, Proposition J, if enacted, authorizes the Office of Small Business, in consultation with the Controller, to establish a one-time non-refundable administrative fee not to exceed $50 to offset the program’s administration costs.  This fee will be paid by businesses that are nominated and wish to be included in the Registry. The Controller estimates there are 7,500 qualifying business.  The one-time $50 fee would generate $375,000.

A Qualifying Legacy Business has contributed to the neighborhood’s history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community.  The Office of Small Business shall award to a Qualified Legacy Business a grant equal to $500 per full-time equivalent employee employed in San Francisco by the Qualified Legacy Business up to a maximum of 100 full-time equivalent employees. Following a landlord’s initial application, the Office of Small Business shall pay to a qualified landlord a grant equal to $4.50 per square foot, up to a maximum of 5.000 square feet per location.

If the Small Business Commission determines that a Legacy Business faces an immediate risk of displacement and that a grant would prevent displacement, but there are insufficient funds in the account to make such a grant, the Small Business Commission may request a supplemental appropriation from the Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors may, without a vote of the people, amend the code provided it is consistent with the proposition’s purposes

A “YES” Vote Means: you support establishing a Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund.

 

A “NO” Vote Means: you do not support establishing a Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund.

 

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR PROP J:

The Fund would support non-profits, artists, small businesses and their employees who might otherwise have to leave the City due to increased rent prices.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP J:

  • The Program’s cost, funded by the City’s General Fund, would be unsustainable over time, as Legacy businesses may be eligible to receive grants if they are not financially struggling.

 

 

READ PROPOSITION K

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