SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed Supervisor Matt Haney’s legislation to create a fund to support the city’s music and entertainment venues, city officials announced.

The San Francisco Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will aim “to provide financial support to San Francisco’s venues which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a release issued by Haney.

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“It’s a good day for our city and for our city’s nightlife community. We are
creating a fund that will provide relief, at a time when our venues need it the most,” Haney said in the release.

The fund will be administered by the Office of Small Business in consultation with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Entertainment Commission, officials said. Haney has stated he is committed to identifying at least $1.5 million for the fund. Both the Entertainment Commission and the Small Business Commission have issued letters in support of the city allocating 1.5 million specifically for the fund.

Among the businesses hardest hit when forced to close when COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders were issued last March, music and entertainment venues have remained largely shut down for nearly a year.

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San Francisco venue operators have been increasingly vocal over the last few months, calling on lawmakers to do something to provide financial assistance.

“It’s been horrible seeing how all of our city’s businesses and industries have suffered during this pandemic, and the entertainment sector is among the hardest hit,” said President of the Small Business Commission Sharky Laguana, who has expressed support for the fund. “Venues are the heart of our city’s culture and a cornerstone of our city’s economy, so it is wonderful to see that they are beginning to get the help and attention they deserve.”

Haney worked closely with a coalition of stakeholders in developing the fund. including the San Francisco Venue Coalition and the Independent Venues Alliance.

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“This is a huge first step,” said Maria Davis, owner of St. Mary’s Pub and
co-owner of the Stud Bar, who is a member of both venue groups. “We are so grateful to Supervisor Haney and the entire Board of Supervisors for acknowledging the importance of our live entertainment venues by creating this fund, as well as to Mayor Breed for her ongoing support of our industry.”