San Francisco task force lays out recommendations for economic recovery amid COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The first Latina owned cannabis dispensary opened in San Francisco Friday. The new business opens as an Economic Recovery Task Force released a report with suggestions about how to help the city get its economy back on track.

One recommendation says the city needs to simplify the permit process for the construction industry and small businesses.

Cindy De La Vega, the owner of Stiiizy, admits it wasn't easy to get her dispensary open. She started the process in 2017.

"I did the application and thought that was it and you get a permit. And it was like no wait you gotta do this and this and this. But it's good I was able to learn a lot and grow," De La Vega said Friday.

RELATED: Economy in 'recessionary,' possibly 'depressionary' environment, Salesforce CEO says

Among other recommendations from the task force, the suggestion to expand the parklets that popped up to allow outdoor dining and to keep them for another three years. San Franciscans ABC7 talked to like this idea.

"I really like all the outdoor dining I think it was one of the better things that happened with Covid. I think it would really cool to keep all that stuff to keep the streets alive," said resident David Alvarez.


App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules

The task force also mentioned the empty office space and hotels in San Francisco. The report says if people don't return, the city should look at converting the empty space to housing. This also gets a thumbs up from some residents.

"There's so much space now it seems a little silly not to use it, to make our city better and healthier in that way," said resident Corryn Newlan.

In addition to long term suggestions, the report also calls for immediate action such as providing relief money to artists.

"I think it would great to help them because they can't really make any money right now," Alvarez said.

RELATED: US layoffs remain elevated as 840,000 seek jobless aid

While the report stated the road to recovery will be a long one, people in San Francisco believe the city will come out of this successfully and maybe changed for the better.

"I am still proud to live in San Francisco and that's why I work so hard to stay here because I believe we can make it a better place, not just catering to big tech companies but getting it back to its culture and its diversity," Newlan said.

De La Vega said she is glad to hear the task force focused attention on new business owners.

"I agree that after the pandemic they are going to need help. It's hard to say right now how much help because I believe in our city. Once the pandemic is over, we are going to come back strong," De La Vega said.

RELATED: 'Karen'-themed billboard pops up in San Francisco in effort to save restaurants

She went on to offer encouragement to others.

"I am excited and hopefully other equity applicants don't lose hope because, you'll get there. Sometimes things have to take long and sometimes that's for the best," she said, as employees rushed around her to prepare the shop, one hour before its historic opening.

COVID-19 DIARIES: Small business owners discuss effects of coronavirus pandemic
EMBED More News Videos

In this episode of COVID-19 Diaries, discover the effects of novel coronavirus on small businesses.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.