Van Ness Improvement Directed Business Support



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Frequently Asked Questions & Resource Guide


San Francisco created the Construction Mitigation Program to provide a suite of measures to support small businesses impacted by construction and improvement projects. These investments include marketing, technical assistance, business support, and access to existing resources and programs offered by the City during the continued construction of the Van Ness Improvement Project. Businesses can sign up for project updates and stay in the know as to what’s happening and when by visiting or contact SFMTA Van Ness project staff directly via email at or phone at 415-646-2310.

As part of the program, the City launched the Directed Business Support Grant Program for impacted merchants along Van Ness Avenue due to the significant delays.  Eligible Merchants that are within the construction impact zone may apply to receive $5,000 - $10,000 per business based on eligibility criteria listed and the level of construction impact.

The grants from this fund are designed to go toward rent, utilities, and wages and to help a business complete physical improvements to their storefronts such as fixtures, furnishings and equipment painting, compliance with accessibility, and technology upgrades. The expanded use of funds could also include reimbursements to businesses for 2020 COVID-19 related storefront renovations, interior/layout improvements for compliance, furniture/fixture purchases, purchases related to health and safety compliance including signage and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizers, masks, face shields, gloves, etc.




To be eligible, businesses meet the criteria including:

  • must be located within the Van Ness construction impact zone along Van Ness Avenue between Market Street and Chestnut Street.
  • must be an active storefront business on the ground level facing the street;
  • and must have been established with no change in ownership on or after March 3, 2017.

Businesses that were established with no change in ownership within the Van Ness impact zone on or after March 3, 2017 and have either moved from the Van Ness impact zone to another location in San Francisco or permanently closed on or after January 1, 2019 may still be eligible for an award and can apply for this grant.


Grant Details

For eligible businesses that apply grants are awarded in two phases ranging from $5,000 - $10,000 based on the impact zone. Types of impact are:

Directly Impacted: Construction that impacts and/or impedes visual or physical access to business including structures and large-scale equipment for a period of six months or longer.

Indirectly Impacted: No physical or visual impediment in front of the storefront, but construction is within a one-block radius of the construction site that indirectly impacts the business corridor for a period of 12 months or longer.

The two phases of fund distribution:

The Phase 1 disbursement is 75% of the grant award and is to be used for rent, utilities, or wages in order to help stabilize business operations. The business designates the use of funds on their application.

The Phase 2 disbursement is the remaining 25% of the grant award. The business designates the use of funds on their application. The purpose of these funds is to help support the long-term sustainability of the business. In response to impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, use of funds have been expanded to include reimbursement for rent, utilities, wages or COVID-19 eligible purchases made on or after March 1, 2020.

Questions about this application can be directed to Jada Jackson, Project Manager at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at

To apply for the program, please submit the application electronically or download the application and submit the completed application and supporting documentation via email by January 31, 2021 to Jada Jackson, Project Manager at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at or call 415-554-6477.

While completing this application, please make sure to have your rent information, as well as documentation for any reimbursements you wish to submit (which could include rent, utilities, wages, or COVID-19 related expenses). Please note that you must complete the electronic application in one sitting and that your response cannot be edited or saved once submitted.

If you prefer that a paper application be mailed to you, submit a request by sending an email to

You can also download and print an application.

Please submit any inquiries regarding the program to:

Jada Jackson, Project Manager, Invest in Neighborhoods         

Phone:  415-554-6477

All award decisions are contingent upon budget approval and funding availability. Only applications that are complete and meet eligibility requirements will be considered.