APEC: SF Supervisor Calls for Hearing on Small Business Impacts

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Supervisor of San Francisco Matt Dorsey He told The Standard that he plans to call a hearing this week to assess how small businesses have been negatively affected by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Reports of major drops in customers.

In mid-November, tens of thousands of people descend on San Francisco for a week-long geopolitical summit, the largest international event the city has hosted since the United Nations convened in 1945. APEC The leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, have created a heavily guarded security perimeter around the center of Moscow, where many meetings are held.

Dorsey, whose district has been hit by the quiet zone in Market South, said he has heard “a lot” of complaints from residents and businesses. On Tuesday, the budget and finance committee of the city plans to submit a request.

“I think the city and its partners at the state and federal level did a great job of putting on a historic event,” Dorsey said. But as with anything, there are winners and losers, and I’ve heard from small businesses and residents that they’ve been undeservedly disadvantaged. I want to do everything I can to advocate for them.

David Cohen, CEO of the company that controls the Grove on Mission Street, said the restaurant saw a 40 percent drop in revenue during the APEC conference, with 350 fewer customers than a normal week.

“We were open to being a part of this event to showcase the city, and we saw a huge drop in sales,” Cohen said. “It destroyed our finances.”

Dorsey, who often hosts meetings at the Grove on weekends, said he’s also heard of pet adoptions that haven’t worked out because of the security environment. The regulator acknowledges that such business may be more affected than others during APEC, but hopes the hearing will allow other residents and business owners to provide a more complete picture of the impacts.

“I don’t think anyone is flying in from all over the world to groom their dogs, and it’s important to that business that people can come in and out of the area,” Dorsey said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to recognize businesses that are hard of hearing.”

Overall, San Francisco received mostly positive reviews of its handling of APEC. Many city officials saw the conference as a critical moment to reset the narrative of a city that had been repeatedly criticized by the media. How the city handles the APEC outcome could be even more important to local businesses and residents.

Garrett Leahy contributed to this story.

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