Sunday Streets in SoMa!

Sunday Streets is excited to return to SoMa this August, spanning Folsom Street from Spear to 9th Street to and creating 1.3 miles of temporary open space for all to enjoy. The SoMa route was established in 2018.

Home to the Leather & LGBTQ and SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Districts, as well as the East Cut, SoMa West and Yerba Buena Community Benefit Districts, South of Market borders Potrero Hill and the Mission and contains many smaller neighborhoods, including South Park, South Beach and Financial District South.

San Francisco’s Homeless Issues Spark Discussion

9-9-2016: San Francisco’s policy for dealing with homeless residents living in tents is at a crossroads, leaving voters in November with the next say after one of two competing policies was sidelined Thursday.

Proposition Q would ban tents and authorize The City to remove them within 24 hours after identifying available shelter, including bus tickets out of town if someone on the other end agrees to house them.

The measure, placed on the ballot by Supervisor Mark Farrell with the support of three other colleagues, is emblematic of how politically divisive the homeless issue can become. In fact, it’s about as controversial as the sit-lie debate of six years ago.  For the full text of this press coverage, click on this Article.

A Message from SomBa’s President:

I am a member of the Earthquake Safety Implementation Committee, I believe the sole representative for small business, which met on August 17, 2016.  Primarily the meeting was about the mandatory implementation of Seismic Retrofitting of two stories and more and three units and more soft story buildings. Under the current ordinance soft story buildings of three stories or more and five units or more are required to be retrofitted. The intention is to begin the implementation in 2020 and end in 2025.

I believe there are hundreds of buildings that are two story with a storefront on the ground floor and three or more units on the second and third floors. The retrofitting will most likely trigger full ADA compliance and regardless of the need of vacating of the commercial bushiness on the ground floor but then with ADA compliance there will be a reduction on area, making it financially not viable for businesses to return. No doubt landlords will be seeking rent increases and currently there is no City funding to compensate the commercial tenants.

I am of the opinion that only in poor soils conditions should the retrofitting be mandatory whereas it should be voluntary in stable soil conditions. Consider this, businesses in the majority of our commercial corridors, such as Noe Valley, Castro, Glen Park, West Portal, Geary, Sacramento Street, Fillmore, Taraval, Clement etc. will be affected and our commercial corridors will be devastated. I would appreciate your feedback.

Henry Karnilowicz, President

SomBa (South Of Market Business Association)

SF Pledges to Expedite Startup Process for Businesses – Full Article!

The S.F. Chronicle reports, that if you want to open a restaurant in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee has acknowledged, it could take owners several weeks to navigate the city’s permit maze before you serve the first meal. Now Lee — and the White House — are pledging to speed up that process.

On Thursday, the White House and leaders of 11 cities including San Francisco announced plans to encourage local and federal governments to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business. Dubbed the Startup in a Day initiative, it will use grants and prizes to urge cities to use technology so that entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t have to waste days waiting in line at City Hall for a bureaucracy to bless their plans….

Henry Karnilowicz, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations, said the plan presented “noble goals.” Still, he was skeptical of the 24-hour time frame, especially given local concerns about historic preservation, environmental protection and a host of others. “I have a hard time believing it can be done in San Francisco, given all the issues that are out there, really,” he said.

“But it would be wonderful,” Karnilowicz added. “Why should you be standing in line at the Planning (Department) counter for three hours just so they could say, ‘We can’t help you with this.’”  Click the link above for the Full Article.

SomBa would like to commend and thank Chevron for giving back to the community on Saturday morning, April 18th.

The event commenced on a gorgeous and sunny day at the Chevron gas station at 6th and Harrison with presentations by Chevron representatives and city officials and donating of checks to various non profits, including a check for $20,000(!) to Clean City. Snacks and refreshments were provided and radio station 107.7 The Bone, was broadcasting the event from their tent. Chevron and neighborhood appropriately dressed volunteers then set of with brooms and rolling garbage cans for two blocks surrounding the gas station. It was a fun event and the end result was sidewalks one could eat off!

Chevron has set a wonderful example that all corporations should emulate. We look forward to a repeat performance and participation also by the tech industry, developers and small business. THANK YOU! Chevron.

KTVU Article on S.F. High-profile Break-ins.

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) – San Francisco business groups on Thursday told KTVU small stores are increasingly eyeing extra security measures in the wake of several high-profile break-ins at high-end retailers.

“One hit and you’ve got a few thousand bucks in your pocket,” said Henry Karnilowicz, the president of the Council of District Merchants and head of the South of Market Business Association. “So people are thinking, ‘What shall we do to prevent this from recurring all the time?'”  For the full article, here is the link.

Picture Collage from SomBa’s Recent Mixer!

Jamber Collage MedSomBa’s last mixer was held on July 30th, at Jamber Wine Pub on Folsom. We welcomed over 20 members, guests and friends to a great evening of networking and socializing. If you missed it, stay tuned to our website and newsletter for our next event!

SFCDMA Annual Dinner Recap:


On February 6th, 2014, SFCDMA held its 61st anniversary gala dinner event, at the Concordia-Argonaut Club on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. This event was well attended with over 200 attendees from merchant groups all over San Francisco, including a full table on behalf of SomBa. Shooting photos for the evening was SomBa’s very own Laura Kudritzki.  Also representing SomBa, were Hoogasian Flowers, Sinow Optometry, and The Mau Law Firm.

Henry Karnilowicz is President of SFCDMA (and SomBa) and was honored by various local politicians. The event was hosted by Emmy Award winning Producer Liam Mayclem, with entertainment from The Rat Pack and an excellent silent auction.  Notable speakers and award presenters were Mayor Ed Lee, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr and SFFD Chief Joanne Hayes-White. Many thanks to the Concordia-Argonaut Club staff and to the SFCDMA members who put on such a great event.

SomBa’s Past Mixers

Beer Hall

SomBa held a very successful mixer at the The Beer Hall. If you haven’t been there, they are located at 1 Polk Street.  Our mixer was on November 20th and was very well attended.  The Beer Hall has an excellent selection of craft beers, and many thanks to them for hosting our event. Stay tuned to our website for further updates on our next event.

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The SomBa Block Party at Folsom Street Foundry on June 6th was a resounding success. Well over a hundred attendees enjoyed the mixer, including Supervisor Jane Kim and members of the San Francisco Fire Department. There was some local art being created, several small vendors, great drinks from the Foundry, and donated bites from Jamber and Pinkie’s Bakery. The lounge area was courtesy of Zozi’s Loft, and other interesting musical creations by Smule and sounds from Slim’s. Many thanks to these and all of our other corporate sponsors, and special thanks to SomBa Board member Natalia Bushyager for spearheading the creation of this event. Stay tuned for next event, coming soon to a venue near you in SoMa!!!

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The April 2011 Community Exchange

Thank you to everyone who attended the April 2011 Community Exchange at Don Ramon’s. So many new faces turned out to network and socialize on the cozy and cheerful upper balcony at Don Ramon’s Mexican restaurant on 11th Street. SOMA Business owners, employees and residents had a grand time mixing it up and making new contacts. Don Ramon’s not only allowed us to use their space for free, but also provided complimentary appetizers to accompany their amazing margaritas and sangria. We look forward to future events at Don Ramon’s and thank them for their hospitality. We also thank the very hard working SFPD Sergeant Tad Yamaguchi, and Paul Henderson from the Mayor’s Office for sharing details about neighborhood safety, security and the highly anticipated arrival of a new Police substation on 6th Street. Thanks everyone for making the April Exchange such a success and thank you Laura Kudritzki (SOMA photographer and SOMBA Board member) for capturing such wonderful images during the event.


PICS from SOMBA’s Holiday Community Exchange at Passion Cafe

Steve Barton of Passion Cafe hosted a special evening along with SOMBA members, local businesses and a room full of holiday cheer.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Laura Kudritzki