Small Business

Small Business Commission Opposes Paid Parental Leave

Update: The Board of Supervisors adopted paid parental leave on April 5.

The San Francisco Small Business Commission at their March 28 meeting voted to oppose paid parental leave legislation, heard a presentation about registering businesses online and voted to support a budget appropriation for adding a staff person to the Office of Small Business.

Paid Parental Leave

The commission was neutral on District Eight Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal to require businesses of 20 or more employees to provide paid parental leave to employees at their March 14 meeting.

An existing state worker-funded program provides 55 percent of paid leave to new parents. Under Wiener’s proposed legislation, employers would be responsible for paying the rest to ensure that new parents have full paid leave for up to six weeks.

At the previous meeting, commissioners recommended several amendments to the legislation, including increasing the minimum number of employees of businesses subject to the requirement from 20 to 50, and to increase the length of time an employee works at a business before becoming eligible for paid leave.

Those recommendations were not adopted by Wiener, though Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce said that “a number of amendments that were made that minimize” the legislation’s impact on small businesses.

The commissioners were not happy that their recommendations were not adopted.

“Do the [supervisors] know what it’s like to meet a payroll?” commissioner Stephen Adams asked rhetorically.

Commission President Mark Dwight suggested that Wiener would do better by implementing social safety net legislation “holistically,” given that Wiener is running for State Senate.

“This should be taken care of at the State level,” Dwight said, so as not to have “any punitive effect on any specific counties in California.”

Only commissioner Miriam Zouzounis, who shared her fellow commissioners’ frustrations that their recommendations were not adopted, voted not to oppose the legislation. She urged the need for worker protections.

“The precarious state that small businesses are in also applies to workers,” Zouzounis said.

Business Registration

New businesses can now be registered online at the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s website.

San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros presented the new streamlined system that pleased the  commissioners.

Commissioner Adams praised Cisneros for streamlining permit payments and the Treasurer’s outreach.

“Your team has done a fantastic job getting out there,” Adams said.

Other Business

Office of Small Business Executive Director Regina Dick-Endrizzi presented the concerns of the Small Business Commission to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors regarding Muni Forward improvements to Lombard Street.

Peter Albert, planning director of SFMTA, will lead a team to coordinate with the street’s stakeholders to ensure that small business concerns are addressed through the process.

Commissioners voted to support a budget appropriation for $343,359 for the Legacy Business Registry fund and to establish a community development specialist position within the Office of Small Business to administer the Legacy Business Registry fund program.

Meeting Recap

  • The commission voted to oppose paid parental leave legislation
  • San Francisco businesses can now register online
  • The SFMTA agreed to work with community stakeholders to mitigate business impacts of Lombard Street improvements
  • The commission supported funding for Legacy Business Registry and program administration

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