The Legacy Business list was first established in 2016, with 9 recipients gaining that title and its protections. In 2017, over 50 businesses that were considered of historical and/or cultural relevance were added to the list. While the list isn’t exactly a guarantee of survival for any business, the status does offer some financial assistance and gives the rest of us some hope that our favorite local institutions will still be around in 2018 and beyond.
In a nutshell, here’s how the Legacy Business Program works:
A business is eligible for Legacy Business status if it’s been open for at least 30 years (although some exceptions to this rule are made), receives a nomination from the mayor or Board of Supervisors, and gets final approval from the Small Business Commission.
In 2015, voters agreed to create the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund, that would provide grants to both Legacy Business owners and property owners who agree to lease extensions with Legacy Business tenants. “It was the first legislation in the nation to recognize notable small businesses as historic assets and incentivize their preservation,” according to the San Francisco Office of Small Business.
“Through the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund, Legacy Businesses on the registry may receive Business Assistance Grants of $500 per full-time employee per year, while landlords who extend the leases of such businesses for at least 10 years may receive Rent Stabilization Grants of $4.50 per square foot of space leased per year. The business grants will be capped at $50,000 annually; the landlord grants will be capped at $22,500 a year.”