San Francisco City Mayor London Breed announced a new plan that would provide assistance to business establishments in the city’s downtown area to recover their economy after the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating effects.
Breed discussed the plan of investing more than $9 million during a press conference in an effort to bring more job opportunities and help businesses get back on track. “I’m smiling because I’m thinking about recovery in San Francisco. It’s so important that when we reopen, we reimagine what downtown can be,” the mayor said.
The proposed plan includes three phases, the first of which would invest $7.5 million in San Francisco’s community ambassadors program. The program aims to hire retired police officers and others to help around transit hubs and tourist attractions.
Breed’s plan plans to hire about 50 new ambassadors and station them in popular locations around the city, including Union Square, the Financial District, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown neighborhoods by late summer.
“Community Ambassadors will provide a consistently welcoming atmosphere for returning office workers, residents, and tourists in the downtown area and support the reopening of storefront businesses. They will engage with commuters and visitors to provide hospitality and wayfinding services, engage with people who may be in distress to address safety issues, and access appropriate City services, and will monitor and maintain the appearance and cleanliness of sidewalks and public spaces, calling in issues to City departments as needed,” an official statement read.
The second phase of the city plan will provide assistance to hosting outdoor events in the downtown area. Breed proposed setting aside $1 million to start what she called “SFWednesdays” that would bring a series of events in the area beginning in July.
The program will also have open-air events such as lunchtime events or larger programs in iconic plazas. “The artists and performances that will enliven these downtown plazas beautifully reflect our city’s racial equity values; they will bring vitality and life back to our streets, and help everyone remember why San Francisco is so special,” the Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission, Ralph Remington, said, CBS Local reported.
The last phase of Breed’s Downtown Recovery plan will bring $1 million to bring back Hallidie Plaza or what many call the gateway to Union Square at the Powell Street BART station. The effort will help in cleaning, installation of plants and greenery, and colorful furniture, and provide more food and drink options for tourists and commuters.