When 2020 began, we didn’t know what was instore for Lower Haight, let alone the world. While we all faced many challenges, we all learned many lessons. Yes, it was a weird year however, it was not a wasted one to us at the Lower Haight Merchants & Neighbors Association. We got to connect with new faces over Zoom, we took to the streets to put up art, and we banded together with the community to keep our neighborhood intact.
Below is a list of projects we were able to accomplish for Lower Haight merchants and residents in 2020. We look forward to seeing you in person in 2021 and Happy New Year!
Lower Haight 2020 in a nutshell…
Merchant Community Fund: At the beginning of Shelter-in-Place, the Lower Haight Merchants & Neighbors Association created a Community Fund to directly help small businesses in the Lower Haight. Since April, the association has been able to distribute (27) $500 grants to businesses in the neighborhood, totaling $13,500.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: When the pandemic hit and our community shuttered in front of our eyes, we knew we had to step up and set up a safety net for residents who needed help the most. Neighbors Helping Neighbors organized block captains covering all of Lower Haight to help out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Street Beautification Through Murals: Since the pandemic we’ve been able to help fund and create 15 new murals in the Lower Haight alone! We’ve helped beautify boarded up storefronts, bring art to construction sites, and find new walls for permanent art pieces.
Community Meetings: Even though we weren’t able to hold our monthly meetings in person, we felt it was still important to get the community together and provide a forum where business owners and residents could gather.
District 5 Supervisor Debate: This year was an important year when it came to elections. We were able to host a free, nonpartisan, virtual debate for the community to learn more about the candidates running for District 5 Board of Supervisor. We want to give a special thanks to Supervisor Dean Preston, Vallie Brown, Daniel Landry, and Nomvula O’meara for participating.
J.H.W. Locksmith Receives Legacy Status: John Henry White has been in business for 43 years in the Lower Haight, located at the corner of Page & Fillmore. Staying open for 43 years is no easy feat and we’re happy to have helped John with the process of receiving legacy status from the city of San Francisco.
Lower Haight Delivers: LHD is a program developed to help out Lower Haight restaurants until they can fully reopen again. We provide free delivery for the restaurant, customer, and cut off third-party delivery fees. This program is 100% volunteer-driven!
SF Shines Grants: We secured $185,000 for LH Merchants and negotiated updated SF Shines grant status (5K per merchant retroactive for things like Parklets and other tenant improvements).
New Businesses in the Lower Haight: In a year that has been devastating to small businesses nationwide, the Lower Haight has managed to keep most of our businesses alive. We mourn the loss of many neighborhood mainstays, but we’ve been lucky to welcome Woods Brewing, Fort Point this past year and are excited for the opening of Haight Bourbon Shop, Her Urban Herbs, and Otra in 2021. And we give our heartfelt thanks to our merchants who have stayed with us over the years – we will continue to work hard to make this the best neighborhood to own and operate a small business in the city.
Street Washing Along Haight Street: We’ve secured funds through the city for a full time street sweeper from DPW four days a week. As well (pre-pandemic) weekly power washing of sidewalks on Haight from Webster to Scott.
Lower Haight Little Library: The community will be getting a little free library in 2021 gifted by the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighborhood Association and it’s supporters. We look forward to neighbors and neighborhood friends taking a moment, stopping by and sharing or taking a book. Pausing to chat with one another and children participating in the giving and receiving of new stories.