San Francisco's outdoor dining program 'shared spaces' set to expire Dec. 31

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Shared Spaces Platform program is set to expire at midnight on Dec. 31.

Over 2,000 San Francisco businesses will be directly impacted unless city officials extend the outdoor dining program created for business to reopen during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"COVID had to happen for an experience like this so it's been wonderful. It's awesome. We've been saying to each other it feels like we are in Europe" said San Francisco resident, David Mysona.
Kat Anderson and her business partner invested over $5,000 to build the dining platform that takes two parking spaces.

"Hanging on until the end of the year that's what we are hearing. If we just make it until 2021. For small spaces like ours is helping us flourish," said Anderson.

RELATED: San Francisco to give $1.6 million in grants to help small businesses stay afloat

That is what they say is keeping their doors open during the pandemic even though now they can technically open for indoors dining with 25% capacity.

"We need a little more uptick in the business to pay for that because we still have to pay for staff and all of our food and it's definitely an investment. We need it to last longer than December or we won't break even," said Anderson.
Sharky Laguna, President of San Francisco's Small Business Commission says 80% of business owners want to make this outdoor option permanent even after Dec. 31.

"There are also commercial corridors in neighborhoods that don't have that kind of foot traffic and so I would like to give them an incentive to help create community in their neighborhood and to do that we need a longer program," said Laguna.

RELATED: 1 woman pronounced brain dead, 1 in critical condition after outdoor dining crash at San Jose mall

San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman says he is considering a two year extension proposal to the program but safety will be imperative.

"There are a lot of issues to work out. There are safety issues, there are financial issues for the city that the parklets are displacing parking which bring revenue to the city and parking that some business rely on and need," said Mandelman.

Another option they are also considering is to block off some streets for safety and help business recover.

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