News Briefs

Retail challenges

In early February, the San Francisco Land Use Committee invited comments from local business leaders on the state of retail businesses in the city. The Union Street Association reports that speakers cited such problems as lengthy permitting processes, homelessness, high rents, a dearth of neighborhood promotion, crime, and unfair competition from online businesses that receive sales tax waivers.

The city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development prepared a “State of the Retail Sector” report for the meeting, which noted that in addition to these problems, local businesses are struggling with employee recruitment and retention, high labor costs, the loss of longtime customers, and problems with streets and public spaces.

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