San Francisco Small Business Week kicks off as yellow tier is within reach

San Francisco is poised to return to the yellow tier as early as this week. The city says it could energize the economy at a time when patronizing small businesses will be critical to getting the city back to where it was pre-pandemic.

San Francisco hopes to kick consumer activity into high gear as the yellow tier could coincide with SF Small Business Week, May 3-7. 

"It is huge and can't be overstated what an impact it's going to mean to move to yellow, so we can start to open up and people start to feel safer to move around," said Sharky Laguana, president of San Francisco's Small Business Commission.

Laguana is going one step further, leading a month-long small business challenge, encouraging San Franciscans to shop local in May.

The city's COVID numbers are still on track for the governor's office to upgrade the city to yellow tier on Tuesday.

Laguana says the move to yellow tier comes as the city kicked off a week-long focus on the San Francisco's 94,000 small businesses over the weekend.

"For many businesses it couldn't come at the best possible moment," said Laguana. "So many of us are hanging on by our fingernails. We're days, weeks away from permanent closure."

San Francisco's Chamber of Commerce hosted a virtual event for the city's various industries to come together to boost small businesses.

Joe D’Alessandro from Travel SF, says keeping businesses on track for success will be critical when it comes to restarting the city's economic engine, tourism. "I think that we as locals need to support our small businesses now more than ever," said D’Alessandro. "We need to keep them alive, help them to grow. Because the last thing we want is for when visitors come back to San Francisco to see a lot of boarded windows or closed businesses."

The governor's office is expected to announce which counties will be bumped to the yellow tier Tuesday.

If San Francisco is on that list, the loosening of restrictions likely won't happen until Friday. Businesses hope shoppers take full advantage next weekend.