It’s no surprise that building or adapting property is difficult for local businesses, and San Francisco small businesses say the city lives down to its reputation in that area, according to an annual national survey on the small business environment from Thumbtack, a San Francisco-based company that connects customers with service providers. When asked, “How unfriendly or friendly is your state or local government with regard to zoning or land use regulations?” the San Francisco respondents gave their city a D. That’s pretty miserable, considering that even this regulation-heavy city got a D+ for the friendliness of its regulations. One respondent, a building contractor, summed up the zoning and land use frustration with a comment that this place “is very difficult to comply with codes, permits and required inspections.”
In terms of other aspects of small business friendliness, San Francisco was pretty terrible across the board, getting a D or D+ in licensing; health and safety regulations; employment, labor and hiring; and tax code. It’s highest score — a B — came in training and networking programs.
Yet, despite those poor grades, Thumbtack says, “San Francisco business owners were among the most optimistic in the country, rating 10th in expectations of hiring over the next 12 months, and having the 12th brightest view of their local economy and the national economy.”