The Office of Economic and Workforce Development Announces Grant Awardees to Preserve and Enhance Neighborhood Bookstores


The Office of Economic and Workforce Development Announces Grant Awardees to Preserve and Enhance Neighborhood Bookstores

Eleven bookstores to receive funding

San Francisco, CA—The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) today awarded eleven neighborhood bookstores with funding as part of the Bookstore SF Program, a partnership with Working Solutions and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The fund celebrates the contribution of small businesses to the vibrancy of the City and ensure the economic well-being of our neighborhoods.

“Neighborhood bookstores are essential components of San Francisco’s character, culture and history,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “This program supports these impactful small businesses that bring charm and vitality to our neighborhoods, foster curiousity, cultivate individual thought, encourage the exchange of ideas and provide a space where adults and children can curl up with a great book.”

In addition to pressure from rising rents, bookstores face fierce competition from big box and online retailers. In order to remain competitive, small businesses must innovate to grow their customer base and sales. The Bookstore SF Program will fund the revitalizations of bookstores to help them become welcoming spaces where people can attend an event or workshop, hear staff recommendations, or just relax and read. By increasing comfort and interactivity, bookstores can serve as a social hub, deepening community and consumer connections.

The grants will also allow bookstores to grow their Book of the Month membership programs and the redesign of their websites to increase e-commerce revenue streams. As part of the program, bookstores receive a variety of services, including technical assistance on marketing, financial assistance, human resources and management consulting, and real estate and broker services such as long term lease negotiations.

"Working Solutions, a long-time partner of OEWD, is pleased to be part of this special project to deploy small business grants to local San Francisco bookstores so that they can continue to be a fundamental part of what makes San Francisco special" said Sara Razavi, CEO of Working Solutions.

“Bookstores are invaluable for the communities and individuals they serve. They inspire creativity, knowledge, and personal growth. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the participants and we

look forward to further developing our working relationship as we strive for their long-term sustainability,” said Angel Cardoz, Director of the San Francisco Small Business Development Center.

There are approximately 57 independent bookstores in San Francisco. Through the Bookstore SF Program, eleven are being awarded a total of $103,000. These neighborhood bookstores contribute to the local economy and generate over $9.8 million in annual sales, create and retain over 100 jobs, host over 40 free community events monthly, and have an average of 21 years in business.

1. Comix Experience, NoPa

2. Dog Eared Books, Castro

3. Dog Eared Books, Mission

4. Bolerium Books, Mission

5. Mission: Comics & Art, Mission

6. Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative, Mission

7. Alley Cat Books and Gallery, Mission

8. East Wind Bookstore, Chinatown

9. Just a Touch Christian Bookstore, Bayview

10. Green Apple Books, Richmond

11. Stevens Books, Excelsior


“Bookstores are more than just retailers. The passionate book-lovers and thousands of books help open worlds, create connections, allow discovery, start conversations, and act as a 'third place' for members of our community,” said Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books.

“Thank you very much for your consideration and work for making this possible! We are looking forward to expanding Just A Touch Christian Bookstore to reach the Bay Area,” said Arnella and Artiese Williams, owners of Just A Touch Christian Bookstore.

“Adobe Books is a collective-owned independent bookstore in the Mission District of San Francisco that involves a lot of people to keep the ship afloat. It’s harder and harder to exist when rents are increasing; so receiving the grant from the City’s Bookstore SF Program provides a cushion. We are not only a bookstore, but also an emerging arts gallery. We have healthy events programming and an open space for cultural activities that foster relationships with offline engagements that are welcoming to all. We want to be here for the long run,” says Rebekah Kouy-Ghadosh, board member of Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative. “We're elated to receive this grant and are incredibly thankful to the city of San Francisco for making it possible.”

The Bookstore SF Program is part of the Small Business Resiliency Fund which is led by OEWD in partnership with the Small Business Development Center and Working Solutions. The goal of the fund is to support and promote San Francisco’s unique merchants, ensuring they remain strong. The fund provides technical assistance and grants to bookstores and other unique cultural assets to assist with customized development plans through business advisors and consultants.



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