Resources for Local Businesses

Bernal Heights: San Francisco’s Hilltop Haven and Entrepreneurial Hub

Bernal Heights, a charming San Francisco, California neighborhood, has a thriving community of 32,054 residents. Located south of the vibrant Mission District, this hilltop village is acknowledged as one of the finest places to reside in the Golden State.

Bernal Heights is not just a residential paradise; it’s also a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. With 2,458 entrepreneurs within its boundaries, the neighborhood boasts an entrepreneurial workforce comprising 12.38% of its total working population. This impressive figure showcases the innovative spirit that drives this community and places Bernal Heights on the map as a significant contributor to California’s dynamic economy.

Bernal Heights embodies the best of what San Francisco has to offer, offering a unique blend of peaceful residential living and bustling business activity. Whether you’re seeking a place to call home or a vibrant community to launch your business, Bernal Heights is an appealing choice.

Resources for Local Businesses

Resources for Local Businesses

Resources to help your small business thrive

  • Bernal Business and Artist AllianceEncouraging Bernal businesses to work together on special events and projects that benefit Bernal Heights and the mutual interests of businesses and residents.
  • Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center – Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center transforms lives and communities through entrepreneurship. Our mission is to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse populations, strengthening our communities by creating sustainable new businesses, jobs, and financial self-sufficiency.
  • San Francisco Small Business Development CenterThe San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a results-oriented program that provides expert, no-cost advising and workshops in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese to guide small businesses to success.
  • San Francisco Venture Capital Directory – We aim to bring together startups, investors, and innovators to learn about cutting-edge innovations and foster dynamic conversations addressing how technology transforms the Bay Area.
  • SF Business Portal – The San Francisco Business Portal offers online resources and one-on-one assistance for starting, running, and growing a business in San Francisco.
  • SF Green Business Program – The San Francisco Green Business Program recognizes businesses, nonprofit organizations, and City and County of San Francisco institutions that meet high environmental standards. The SF Green Business Program is a California Green Business Network member California Green Business Network administered by SF Environment.
  • Small Business Loan Programs – The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and its community partners offer technical assistance and loan products funded by various sources such as community lending circles, crowdsourcing, and community leaders to meet the needs of entrepreneurs at different stages of their growth. Loans are up to $250,000 offering flexible rates and terms to help entrepreneurs start, stabilize, and grow.
  • Small Business Assistance Center – The Small Business Assistance Center provides one-to-one case management assistance, including information on required licenses and permits, technical assistance, financing options, and other business resources to help businesses start, grow, and thrive. In addition, SBAC provides multi-lingual client services by phone, email, appointment, and on a drop-in basis.
  • Startup Life San Francisco – Whether you are a member of the gig economy with the freedom to explore or a recent transplant – we will help you explore the San Francisco Startup Ecosystem. From co-working spaces to startup programs to local regulations, we help startups do business in SF.
  • Startup Tools for Founders – A curated directory of tools and resources to build your startup.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Small Business Assessment ProgramThe program educates small businesses Citywide about ADA compliance, provides eligible businesses in Invest in Neighborhood corridors with an ADA assessment report and plan for compliance with ADA law, and provides access to new grant funding and loan programs. The program is free of cost for those meeting the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, businesses must be located within the City of San Francisco and should not have an active lawsuit.
To report a vacant storefront through the Treasurer/Tax Collector, click this link:

Loans & Grants

  • Franchise Fund is a multi-year commitment by the Golden State Warriors, United Airlines, and WRMSDC to provide Corporate-readiness training and MBE certification to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses.
  • SF Shines Construction Grant $5,000; applications are accepted as long as funds are available. Grant funds for storefront improvements construction projects such as minor tenant improvements, awnings, and equipment.
  • SF Shines Design Services Grant Apply for free architectural drawings from a licensed architect (if your project requires multiple drawings, you may have to pay for some of the drawings)
  • Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant $2,000, applications accepted as long as funds are available. The City is offering up to $2,000 for businesses that experienced vandalism of their storefronts. Incidents must have occurred on or after July 1, 2020.
  • Office of Small Business $10K ADA Grant The $10,000 grant can reimburse the merchant or pay for accessible furniture, fixtures, equipment, or a CASp inspection.
  • Nonprofit grants and fundingFind funding opportunities for arts, youth, employment, health, housing, and wellness services in San Francisco.

Arts and Culture

    • Arts Commission (SFAC) – Grant opportunities for artists, groups, and organizations.
    • Grants for the Arts – Grants for the Arts, a City Administrator’s Office division, provides general operating support for arts and culture organizations and funds re-granting to individual artists and groups.

Children, Youth, and their Families

Civic Engagement, Language Access, Immigrant Services

    • OCEIA grant opportunities – Funding for work that supports immigrants, language access, civic engagement, and more.
    • Status of Women – We promote equitable treatment and foster the advancement of women and girls.

Economic and Workforce Development

    • Bid opportunities – Learn about bid and funding opportunities from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)
    • Film SF – We champion filming in San Francisco to support a diversity of storytellers and our thriving production community.


Housing and Community Development

    • Affordable Housing – Housing-related funding opportunities for developers and professional service providers.
    • Community Development – Grant opportunities from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

City of San Francisco

    • Find contracting and grant opportunities for businesses and nonprofits at the Office of the City Administrator.
    • San Francisco City Partner – San Francisco City Partner announces bidding and grant opportunities from many city agencies.
    • Community Challenge Grant Program – We provide grants and technical assistance for projects that improve neighborhoods. Our grantees include community groups, merchants’ associations, CBDs, schools, and nonprofit organizations.
    • Get help for your business after a fire or other disaster – Learn what resources are available to businesses and employees, including grants up to $10,000.
    • SF Shines – Get help with storefront improvements.
    • Legacy Business Program – Long-standing small businesses can join the Registry for recognition, marketing and business help, and grants.

State of California

    • California Grants Portal – Find all the grants and loans offered on a competitive or first-come basis by California state agencies.
  • Working Solutions: Small Business Revolving Loan Fund Businesses located in District 9 are qualified for the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund from Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Apply Here:
  • California Rebuilding Fund Loans with a 4.25% interest rate for small businesses with less than 2.5 million in revenue in 2019 experienced a decrease in business during the pandemic. Learn more:
  • Kiva loans – Zero-percent interest loans, up to $15,000.

City Programs

  • Awning Amnesty Program – Creates a temporary amnesty program for existing, unpermitted awnings. All property owners (and business owners) with awnings without a building permit on file are eligible for the program, including those with active Notices of Violation for installing or having an awning with a building permit.
  • JobsNow Program for Employers – The San Francisco Human Service Agency JobsNOW program can help employers find employees and reimburse their wages. Apply by calling their hotline at (877) 562- 1669 or email [email protected].
  • Office of Economic & Workforce Development COVID-19 Resources Spaces program: A permit to use the sidewalk, parking lane, or private lots for business operations, like seating, dining, or retail pickup. General liability insurance is required.
  • Pilot Graffiti Abatement Program – Free graffiti removal services from professional SF Public Works crews or City contractors through November 30, 2024.
  • SF GOV COVID-19 Information at

Legal Services

  • The Berkeley Center for Law and Business has launched a small business resource page for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a two-part video summary of the CARES Act stimulus. Additionally, they are launching a pilot program to match law students with small business owners to provide free support in navigating the CARES Act stimulus process. More information, including a registration form for small business owners, can be found on their new resource page.
  • Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE): The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) offers business owners free attorneys and legal services. Find the application in English and Spanish.

Federal Services

  • The US Small Business Administration is available to help small businesses through these difficult times and accepts applications.
  • IRS Employee Retention Credits: The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. It applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The maximum credit is $5,000 per employee. PPP loan recipients are not eligible for this tax credit.

Resources for Local Businesses

Skip to content