Small Business Commission Minutes for October 19th 2000
CITY AND COUNTY OF
SMALL BUSINESS COMMISSION
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Thursday, October 19, 2000 5:30 PM
Commissioners Chamber - Room 400
STEPHEN CORNELL - PRESIDENT
JOSE NAJAR - VICE PRESIDENT
MARIVIC BAMBA, GWEN KAPLAN, DICK MAK,
YASIN SALMA, I.LEE MURPHY-REED
Members Present: Stephen Cornell, Marivic Bamba, Gwen Kaplan, Dick Mak
I. Lee Murphy-Reed, Yasin Salma
Members Absent: Jose Najar
Call to order:
· The Small Business Commission met on October 19th, 2000, in regular session. The meeting was called to order at 5:40 PM
Approval of Minutes for September 11th, 2000
Action: Commissioner Murphy-Reed moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Kaplan
seconded. Unanimous approval from the Commission
Small Business Commission Minutes For October 19th, 2000
Proposed Business Tax Ordinance (Proposition I)
· Ms. Susal Leal, City Treasurer, came to present an overview of Proposition I ("Prop I") and how it came to the ballot. Before she went into the presentation she stated that the Treasurer’s Office did produce some things that the small business community would be pleased to hear about. She stated that businesses could register their licenses and do property taxes on line. She encouraged the on-line use as it takes approximately three minutes and there is no fee for businesses when using a credit card. She began her presentation on Prop I by stating that she can only give objective information as she can not advocate one way or another for the measure. The City had been sued by a number of businesses for it’s taxation policy, some felt it was unconstitutional that a business paid the higher of the gross receipt and payroll tax. The court ruled that the alternative nature of the tax gives the potential of being unconstitutional and the City was forced to give back money. The legal counsel for the matter determined that eliminating one of the taxes would be the best way to resolve the problem. Thus, they proposed eliminating the gross receipt tax and raising the payroll tax. She stated that some positive changes will occur such as lower registration fees and consolidation of license fees. However, while 62,000 will experience those benefits, 8,000 could experience higher taxes, as the payroll tax will fluctuate from 1.4 to 1.7. She closed in saying that she not the Mayor wanted to make this change, but because they are in a legal bind, the elimination of the gross receipt tax was the only way of resolving the matter.
· Commissioner Cornell asked if the passing of Prop I would remedy the issue and declare the matter resolved.
· Ms. Leal stated that it should be a viable remedy before the court.
· Commissioner Cornell asked how our city taxation compares to other cities.
· Ms. Leal stated that we are on the high side of taxation. We are a small city of 700,000, but in the day we accommodate 3-4 million.
· Donna Horowitz, member of the small business community, asked why they are complicating things when the case is over.
· Ms. Leal stated that the controller established the proposal and that the intention was not to make it more difficult but to have a rate that could stay at 1.5 or lower and the business community could share in the positive return.
· Rolf Mueller, member of the small business community, stated that this issue arose in 1990 and there was ample warning and he stated that he hopes the City will take note of this error to prevent problems like this in the future.
· Sandy Sohcot, president of the Small Business Network, asked why organizations such as banks, insurance companies and skilled nursing facilities are exempt from taxes.
· Ms. Leal stated that they are exempt under state law.
Action: No action, presentation only
Small Business Commission Minutes For October 19th , 2000
DISCUSSION ON DISABLED ACCESS AND THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN REGARDING AISLE WIDTHS WITHIN MERCHANDISE PADS IN RETAIL STORES
[Presentation from Frank Chiu, Director of Department of Building Inspection]
· Frank Chiu, Director of the Department of Building Inspection "DBI" stated that the Administrative Bulletin had been around since 1982. The law states that sales areas must remain accessible to the physically disabled. He stated that the law wasn’t clear regarding aisle width and when a lawsuit was filed against DBI, they decided to work with the community to establish a reasonable approach. When the original proposal went out, the small business community felt it was too restrictive and the disabled community felt it was too lenient. He stated that they are at square one looking to establish some consensus between the disabled and small business community.
· Commissioner Salma asked if there was a lawsuit involved in this matter
· Mr. Chiu stated that there was a federal lawsuit.
· Commissioner Murphy-Reed asked if the regulations would be focusing on all retailers such as stores like Macys and "mom-and-pops".
· Mr. Chiu stated that it would be applied to all businesses that have recently remodeled their business.
· Commissioner Mak asked if the requirements were for existing or new businesses.
· Mr. Chiu replied that state law stated that if your remodeling took pace before 1982 than you are exempt.
· Rolf Mueller, member of the small business community, asked if this is only for retailers and how it would effect other businesses such as a dentist office
· Mr. Chiu stated that it applied to offices as well if they have remodeled their business.
· Donna Horowitz stated that she would like to see the Department go back to the state and look at the numbers as 32 inches was suffice in the past.
Action: No action, presentation only.
Report on the Small Business and Entrepreneurial Forum
[Presentation from Paul Pendergast, of Pendergast and Associates]
· Paul Pendergast gave an overview of the diversity of attendees from the forum. He thanked the sponsors, Mayor and Commission for assisting in such a successful event. He stated that the draft of recommendations would be available to the public in 3-4 weeks.
· Commissioner Cornell stated that he was please to hear that there was no disconnect from what was discussed in the sessions and what was presented to the Mayor. He also asked how much longer Mr. Pendergast would be working on this project.
· Mr. Pendergast stated that he would be working till the final report is finished and distributed.
· Rolf Mueller stated that he was a participant in the Forum m and he enjoyed the event. HE asked what the product would be from the Forum.
· Mr. Pendergst stated that there wasn’t much follow-up from the 1998 Forum, but now with the Office of Small Business Affairs we are committed to a follow-up plan that will show our successes.
· Barbara Panacea, Retail Owner, asked how prioritizing of the recommendations would take place being that heir were two per group.
· Daniel Hwang, Director of the Office of Small Business Affairs, stated that once all of the recommendations are in, they will be able to prioritize and get a real sense of what can be done with the resources available.
Small Business Commission Minutes For October 19th , 2000
_ President Cornell began by stating that he had been attending some meetings regarding the Home Depot, which is coming to the City. HE stated that he would be directly affected, as the proposed size would be 103,000 square feet and another 30,000 outside. The community and business came up with a compromise, which would be a smaller facility. He also reported that he attended a Polk street meeting regarding a video store coming to the neighborhood. He stated that because of the discretionary review legislation, the store came under that ordinance.
· Daniel Hwang reported that there have been several walk-in constituents and asking about the office and that people are starting to realize that the office exists. He stated that he is going to delay discussion on the office roles and description until the recommendations are in. He stated that he made a $10,000 contribution to the clean city campaign.
General Public Comment
· Commissioner Cornell stated that he would like the General Public Comments to be first on the agenda.
· Commissioner Salma stated that there are several recommendations from the forum that need to be completed in as early as three months and that we will need more help in meeting those goals.
· Daniel Hwang stated that he has been looking into an additional person for the office and would like to bring it before the Commission as an action item at the next hearing.
· Commissioner Salma stated that there should be liaisons that work with the Board of Supervisors, District Merchant, etc.
· Commissioner Cornell stated that they would address that topic as soon as elections are over and the new Board of Supervisors is established.
· Commissioner Salma asked that staff look into health coverage for the Commissioners for the next meeting.
· Scott Hauge stated that he is starting Small Business Networks around the state and he is currently working with Edna Bruce. They are currently focusing on procurement but are looking to expand.
· Meeting was adjourned at 7:15. Moved to adjourn by Commissioner Murphy-Reed. Seconded by Commissioner Salma. Unanimous approval by the Commission.