Will the holiday season give SF small businesses the boost that APEC didn't?

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, December 7, 2023
Will the holidays give SF small businesses the boost that APEC didn't?
As San Francisco small businesses kick off their holiday festivities, owners are hoping people plan on doing some of their holiday shopping locally.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- From the lights outside to the carolers inside, San Francisco's Ferry Building came alive on Wednesday for its annual holiday open house.

"That's a core for our business, the holiday season. It starts from about November and goes through February for Valentine's," said Jacky Recchiuti.

At Recchiuti Confections, shoppers were making their rounds for some sweet treats.

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Small business owners near San Francisco's Moscone Center say they saw up to a 80% decrease in sales during APEC.

Although, foot traffic is still not at pre-pandemic levels.

"But because of the effort that the Ferry Building has put into all of the merchants, it's been maintaining the flow," Jacky said.

The Ferry Building wasn't the only place that kicked off their holiday festivities on Wednesday either.

Up the hill in Chinatown, things also got off to a roaring start.

In this neighborhood, the Chinatown Merchants Association hosted its holiday lights festival.

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"The cluster of businesses is what makes Chinatown special. Because you can be on the same block and there is entertainment, there is food, there is a bar. There are small restaurants that you can visit," said Jenny Chan, of the Chinatown Merchants Association.

After the APEC summit failed to provide the boost in business that was hoped for, many say they plan on doing some of their holiday shopping locally away from the traditional big box stores and online retailers.

"It gives people something positive to look forward to and it also brings people back to support the businesses," said Amy Lee.

Across town, city hall was also lit up in green and red ahead of the tree lighting at the Civic Center, a festive atmosphere that's uniquely San Francisco.

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