Mayor Breed announces 8th edition of "Shop and Dine in the 49" campaign to support local economy
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With the holiday season just days away, Mayor Breed announced the 8th edition of "Shop and Dine in the 49 campaign" in a bid to encourage shopping and dining within the 49 square miles of San Francisco. The latest edition of the campaign is special as it aims to facilitate economic recovery as the City emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign will kickstart from Wednesday December 1. The city officials have partnered with several neighborhood merchant associations to promote shopping at small businesses and neighborhood corridors throughout San Francisco.

The 8th edition of Shop and Dine in the 49 brings a holiday trolley that will visit neighborhood shopping districts across the city for over three weekends. Moreover, OEWD's City Hall Holiday Pop-Up will also make a comeback on December 7 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The pop-up store will feature  over 35 local artisans in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Mayor's office said.

Mayor London Breed called all San Franciscians to shop local and support the diverse small-business community and family-owned stores that makes the city special.

There are over 90,000 small businesses in San Francisco, creating employment for thousands of locals. However, these businesses have been struggling with residents spending millions of dollars annually on online retailers. The challenges for small business owners became worse when a pandemic forced people to shop online. According to the US Department of Commerce, online retail sales grew from 11% to 14%. The online sales sustained growth even after US authorities eased the restrictions.

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The Mayor's office further said that San Francisco has introduced a legastion that waives permit fee for businesses wanting to offer sidewalk sales between December 4th and 5th and December 11th and 12th.

Shop and Dine in the 49 was started in 2014 to ensure a strong local economy. The initiative brings together the Mayor's Office, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of Small Business and local merchant associations, neighborhood community benefits districts, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

This year, Mastercard is sponsoring the event. In addition, the city officials have partnered with BART  local businesses accessible by public transit. BARTable promotes BART-accessible activities and provides information about independent businesses located within 6 block radius of a BART station to provide promotional offers to riders.

San Francisco has rolled out several financial aid and immediate relief plans to support small businesses. It recently made over $63 million in grants and loans available to help more than 3,000 small businesses, including legislation to waive $5 million in fees and taxes for entertainment and nightlife venues and small restaurants. Mayor Breed also introduced fee waivers and tax deferrals.
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