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MAYOR LONDON BREED PROPOSES WAIVING CITY FEES FOR NIGHT MARKETS, BLOCK PARTIES, FARMERS MARKETS & OTHERS
April 26, 2024

Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight San Francisco ~ Dallas ~~~

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   

Friday, April 26, 2024 

Contact: Mayor’s Press Office, mayorspressoffice@sfgov.org 

 

  

***PRESS RELEASE*** 

MAYOR LONDON BREED PROPOSES WAIVING CITY FEES FOR NIGHT MARKETS, BLOCK PARTIES, FARMERS MARKETS & OTHER OUTDOOR COMMUNITY EVENTS  

Companion legislation will streamline health permits for food vendors to further reduce costs and support events that bring excitement and joy to neighborhoods across San Francisco

 

San Francisco, CA -- Mayor London N. Breed has introduced legislation to encourage and expand outdoor community events. The first will waive City fees for certain events, making them less costly to produce. The second will simplify the health permitting for special event food vendors through the creation of an annual permit. Both pieces of legislation are part of the Mayor’s broader initiative to bring vibrancy and entertainment to San Francisco’s public right of ways and spaces. 

 

Outdoor community events are integral to the San Francisco’s vibrant culture and sense of community. These events include night markets, neighborhood block parties and farmers markets, and bolster the City’s economy by supporting local businesses and attracting tourists eager to experience San Francisco's unique charm and food scene. They offer residents, workers and visitors, opportunities to engage with local artists, musicians, and food vendors while enjoying the San Francisco’s stunning outdoor spaces and commercial corridors. The legislation will allow for more and new community gatherings and for local food vendors to benefit from the City’s revitalization. 

 

"San Francisco is alive when our streets are filled with festivals, markets, and community events,” said Mayor London Breed. “This brings residents together and it brings more people into our Downtown and our neighborhoods. It celebrates arts, food, music and the spirit of San Francisco. As a city we can cut fees and streamline rules so our communities can bring joy and excitement into our streets and help revitalize San Francisco.” 

 

Fee Waiver Legislation 

 

The events that can take advantage of the new fee waivers are those that are free and open to the public, occupy three or fewer city blocks, take place between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and have the appropriate permitting from the ISCOTT and the Entertainment Commission. 

 

The applicant must be a San Francisco based non-profit, small business, Community Benefit District, Business Improvement District, or a neighborhood or merchant association. Fees eligible for waiver include any application, permit, and inspection/staffing fees from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Department of Public Health, Fire Department, Entertainment Commission, and Police Department.  

 

Currently, it can cost roughly anywhere between $500- $10,000 to obtain permits for organized events or fairs, pending its size and scope. Organizations and businesses are limited to a maximum of 12 events in one calendar year for which they can receive these fee waivers. 

 

“Streets are for joy, streets are for people,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “By waiving fees for small neighborhood block parties and celebrations, we’re encouraging everyday San Franciscans to come together and foster stronger community connections.” 

 

“This fee waiver legislation will be a game changer for all of the folks out there who want to activate the streets to bring the City back but can’t afford the myriad fees and tons of staffing costs that come with it,” said Manny Yekutiel, Owner of Manny’s. “This is exactly the moment where the city needs to clear the path for San Franciscans to do the things we do best: gather outside and spread joy.” 

 

"As we've seen with the highly successful night markets in Chinatown and the Sunset, open street events unite the whole city to have fun,” said Lily Ho, President of Delta Chinatown Initiative. “I'm excited to see communities design their own events and activities." 

 

Food Vendor Streamlining Legislation 

 

The second piece of legislation introduced will help special event food vendors easily participate in multiple events throughout the year with a new, cost-effective annual food permit. Food vendors who participate in multiple events at multiple locations throughout the year will no longer need to obtain a separate permit for each event. Instead, special event food vendors will be able to apply and pay for a single annual permit all at once.     

 

“Many successful food businesses either begin as pop-up vendors or participate in special events to grow their business,” says Katy Tang, Director of the Office of Small Business. “Giving them the option for an annual special event food permit saves them time and money.”   

 

Currently, food vendors are required to get a Temporary Food Facility (TFF) permit from the Department of Public Health (DPH) in order to participate in a special event, among permits from other departments. Currently, each special event requires a new permit from DPH ranging from $124-$244, depending on the type of food being prepared and sold. Last year, DPH issued over 1,500 individual TFF permits. With the new annual permit, food vendors selling at more than four to six events each year will benefit from hundreds of dollars in savings and time saved from fewer bureaucratic processes.  

 

“This legislation is a step in the right direction to make it easier for food vendors like me to participate in citywide events,” said Dontaye Ball, owner of Gumbo Social. “It saves on time, money and makes it more effective. It also creates a level of equity.” 

 

“As a small family business, Sunset Roasters has four priorities: fulfill the needs of our treasured customer base, maintain our government paperwork, develop jobs for the community, and ensure that our business provides for our family, said Sara and Phillip Roliz, owners of Sunset Roasters. “We know thousands of other businesses in SF share these goals. This legislation makes it easier and more cost effective for small food businesses to participate in events and flourish. When San Francisco's small businesses succeed, everybody wins.” 

 

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