San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, Mayor London N. Breed introduced legislation to enhance the Legacy Business Program. The proposal, which is co-sponsored by Board President Aaron Peskin, would allow the City to provide funding directly to Legacy Businesses, with a goal of stabilizing these long-standing businesses which add to San Francisco’s culture.   

In November 2015, San Francisco voters approved Proposition (Prop) J, which established the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund and directed the Office of Small Business to award Rent Stabilization Grants to landlords that enter into long-term lease agreements with Legacy Businesses. The grants, which served as an incentive to landlords that may not otherwise extend or sign new long-term leases for longstanding businesses, resulted in 56 long-term leases established since the start of the Legacy Business Rent Stabilization Grant Program. 

However, under Prop J, landlords are not required to provide any grant funding to Legacy Business tenants. The proposed legislation would require landlords to share at least 50% of the grant with their tenants. 

“Being a small-business-friendly City means supporting entrepreneurs at every stage whether by helping them develop an idea or providing them with the resources they need to become iconic,” said Mayor Breed. “San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation Legacy Business Program honors nearly 400 longstanding institutions, and we need to continue to find new ways to support their longevity.”    

“This legislation will enable more funds to be provided to our cherished Legacy Businesses while continuing to incentivize landlords to provide long-term leases at commercially reasonable rates,” said Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. “Legacy Businesses contribute significantly to San Francisco’s uniqueness, vibrancy, and economic prosperity, and they make the city an exciting place to live, work, and visit.” 

Legacy Businesses that benefit from the Rent Stabilization Grant experience greater stability in operations.

About the Legacy Business Program

The Legacy Business Program, managed by the Office of Small Business, recognizes longstanding, community-serving, and culturally vital businesses. A total of 388 businesses have been added to the Legacy Business Registry since it started in 2015. 

“Legacy Businesses are valuable community assets,” said Katy Tang, Director of the Office of Small Business. “Their stability as anchor institutions benefits entire neighborhoods and sectors. The Legacy Business Assistance Program will enable the City to do more to ensure their ongoing success.”

A Legacy Business is a for-profit or nonprofit business that has operated in San Francisco for 30 or more years. The business must contribute to the neighborhood’s history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community, and it must commit to maintaining the physical features or traditions that define the business, including craft, culinary or art forms. If a business has operated in San Francisco for more than 20 years but less than 30 years, it may still be included in the Registry if the business otherwise faces a significant risk of displacement.

To register a business for the Legacy Business Program, businesses must apply with a nomination by the Mayor or a member of the Board of Supervisors and submit a written application. They receive Legacy Business status with an advisory recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission and approval of the Small Business Commission.

Inclusion on the Registry provides Legacy Businesses with recognition and support as an incentive for them to stay in the community. The program also provides educational and promotional assistance to encourage their continued viability and success in San Francisco.

“San Francisco understands the hardships facing small businesses,” said Connie Kong, owner of Tin Wah Noodle Co. “Through its Rent Stabilization Grant for Legacy Businesses, our 80+ year old noodle factory was able to relocate down the street and maintain our operations in San Francisco. Having that stability, we can focus on business and support community passion projects.”

For more information about the Legacy Business Program, including a list and map of businesses on the Legacy Business Registry, visit Visit to learn more about applying to be on the Registry