APEC Summit tight security plans concern businesses in San Francisco SoMa District

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
APEC Summit concerns businesses in SF SoMa District
The APEC Summit in SF is about three weeks away and the security plan has small businesses concerned about how it will impact patrons and workers.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in San Francisco is about three weeks away.

On Monday, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Office of Small Business will go door-to-door to inform SoMa businesses and residents about the impact of APEC.

Oasis Grill is right across from Moscone Center -- the central site for the APEC summit.

Restaurant co-owner Muna Zughayer says she's concerned.

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San Francisco faces one of the biggest challenges, to enhance the city's image and not give credence to what others are saying about ongoing issues.

The Dreamforce Conference brought thousands of visitors and boosted her business, but she's worried extra-tight security measures for APEC will hurt her bottom line.

"Now with checkpoints, I don't know if anyone will want to go. And my employees, I'm hoping they'll be able to get through," Zughayer said.

Take a closer look at this map.

According to the Secret Service and city authorities, a four-square block section of Downtown San Francisco will be locked down around Moscone Center.

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San Francisco Chinatown's leaders are expecting a tourism boost for the upcoming APEC summit despite tight security.

All the major closures around Moscone Center run from Nov. 15 to Nov. 18

This includes the area between Market and Harrison Streets, and also 2nd and 5th Streets.

Business owners and residents in the security zone around Moscone Center will have to go through screening.

"We need to bring in our vegetables. We need to bring in our meat," Zughayer said. "It may be quite impossible. There's all these checkpoints but who knows if anyone can get through."

RELATED: How intense APEC Summit security will impact SF roads, public transportation, and tourism

Officials say to expect a lot of security, road closures, and transit rerouting all over San Francisco from November 15-18 for the APEC Summit.

While city leaders say APEC could be a great opportunity to spotlight San Francisco on an international stage, there are a lot of big concerns according to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

"It's an issue for people in that exclusion zone. They need to get their deliveries. They need to get their staff to come to work in a timely manner, particularly staff taking BART or MUNI," said Amy Cleary, director of Policy for Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

Others wonder what food delivery drivers will do.

"Will they be able to get in there? Will they be able to get in there for drop offs and pickups," Cleary said.

MORE: What does San Francisco need to do to fix its image now that Dreamforce is done for the year?

The mayor's office says outreach is ramping up this week now that there's more information from the Secret Service on security perimeters.

"I think for some businesses, this is going to be a boom. We extended restaurant week for four days because we think we will get some business from that. But I think for the businesses in the exclusion zones, the more information they can get -- as soon as possible -- will really benefit them," Cleary said.

The mayor's office emphasizes that people can go through the secured area.

It reminds people to plan ahead, especially if they have to go through screening.

Mayor London Breed is expected to brief media on Tuesday morning on the very latest APEC preparations in San Francisco.

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