A new permit-fee waiver program aimed at encouraging the growth of new small businesses in San Francisco launched this week.

The “First Year Free” pilot program will help businesses with less than $2 million in gross receipts that plan to open a new ground-floor location before Oct. 31, 2022.

“Right now, opening a restaurant in San Francisco requires about 20 different permits while opening a retail shop requires up to 11. Each of these permits comes with a fee,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who sponsored the ordinance that created the program, said in a news release.

YouTube video
(Video courtesy of San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector/YouTube)

The city’s Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector will automatically screen new businesses for eligibility and the city has set aside $12 million for the program.

Some of the fees that will be waived include the “initial year” business registration fee for new businesses, the application, inspection and one-time permit fees and the initial license fees.

Fee waivers are also available for businesses opening a new location but not for “formula retail” businesses, according to city officials.