This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.
Measure H is called the Save our Small Businesses Initiative. This prop intends to assist small businesses in San Francisco by making it easier for them to open and operate.
If passed, it would speed up the process to get a permit. It will also give small businesses more flexibility to adapt to the pandemic. Some options include: pop-up retail in empty storefronts and using sidewalks and parking areas for outdoor dining.
Small businesses have struggled with rising rents in recent years. COVID-19 exacerbated these difficulties, and despite re-openings, these businesses are still getting a lot less foot traffic. Also, business permit applications for renovations and expansions can often be stalled for months, due to San Francisco’s zoning laws and a lengthy review process. Small business owners say, this has taken a heavy toll.
Measure H is a mix of about a dozen changes intended to help businesses. One major adjustment: rather than waiting a long time for the city’s review and permit approval processes, businesses would hear back within a month. This initiative will allow businesses that already serve food to also create co-working spaces for customers.
This measure has received large swaths of bipartisan support, from both the Republican Party and Democratic Party of San Francisco. It’s also received support from Black, Latinx, Asian-American and women-owned small businesses. The measure’s opponent argues these proposed changes should be handled in City Hall instead of by voters.
If you support shortening the permit review and approval process and expanding flexibility for San Francisco’s small businesses, vote yes on Measure H. If not, vote no.