Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mayor Gavin Newsom Speaks at SPUR

Your BOMA advocacy team attended SPUR's Business Breakfast Series with Mayor Gavin Newsom this morning. The Mayor was invited to discuss his thoughts on the current state of San Francisco's local economy, and what measures the City will be taking for a swift economic recovery. Here are the topics he discussed that affect commercial real estate and the business community:

Economic Challenges

Without a doubt, the economic challenges that confront San Francisco are staggering, but there are a few bright spots:
  • San Francisco has the fourth lowest unemployment in California (just north of 8%). The Mayor would be surprised if that number went above 10%.
  • San Francisco bond rating has moved up, while California's dropped.
  • San Francisco is one of the last cities in California to be impacted by the economic fallout and will, most likely, be one of the last cities to emerge out of it.
  • Mayor Newsom spoke with Warren Buffett the other day who stated he was optimistic about California and believed there were signs the bottom had been reached in the State’s real estate market. Mr. Buffett also predicted California’s economic recession would end sooner than other parts of the country.

The Mayor also discussed his San Francisco stimulus plan, which includes $1.2 million in revolving loans for small businesses at 0%.

The City and County of San Francisco Budget

On the heels of the Controller's Office three-year budget projection through 2012 to the Board of Supervisors yesterday, Mayor Newsom talked about the $2.2 billion allocated to health and human services (which is a lot compared to peer cities in California). The Mayor mentioned that helping those in need defines the best of San Francisco, although other departments would benefit greatly if the funds were allocated for MUNI, the Police Department, etc. It's tough to find a balance.

The Mayor's office is currently in budget negotiations with relevant stakeholders (no details on this yet).

Payroll Tax

The payroll tax is the reason San Francisco is perceived as business unfriendly. His office is working on waving this tax for net new jobs created in San Francisco across all industries for 2 years.

Streets and Sidewalk General Obligation Bond Measure

The Mayor stated that he will be putting a streets and sidewalks general obligation bond measure on the November ballot and hoped the business community would support it.

No comments:

Post a Comment