Small Business Grants Offered from SF Shines

This is a special alert for San Francisco small business owners, from the Office of Economic & Workforce Development:

This past fiscal year, SF Shines had a big impact, funding 293 businesses and investing over $1.3 million.

The Office of Economic & Workforce Development is now beginning the process of designing the next iteration of these grant programs, intending to relaunch SF Shines in January 2024. In order to focus on that process, the final deadline for both the SF Shines Construction Grant and the SF Shines Design Services Grant is 11:59 pm on Friday September 29.

  • Get free drawings and design services from a licensed architect or logo and signage design from a graphic designer. Apply here.
  • Get up to $5,000 in funding to complete construction projects and purchase new equipment.  Apply here.
  • Small business owners can get reimbursed for accessibility inspections or for making your business more accessible. Apply here.

Bearrison Needs Volunteers

Many paws make light work!

Bearrison Street Fair is looking for over 150 volunteers for this fun event on Saturday, October 14, 2023,  on Harrison Street at 11th Street. 

Bearrison promotes body positivity for all and builds a more supportive, welcoming, and inclusive bear scene.  The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the Fair.

The theme this year is Under the Big Tops!  Full info is here.

Shift sign ups are available now so please sign up today, here.

Volunteers get perks like a free T-Shirt, access to the Hospitality HQ (which includes food, drinks, private toilets, and exclusive backstage access), and access to the NEFT VIP Bear Garden.  Plus every shift completed will earn money towards a non-profit or charity of your choice, so you are not only helping pull off an amazing event, but you are also supporting your community financially.

[SPECIAL NOTE:  David H. is looking for volunteers to dress as woodland creatures or wood nymphs, and act as hosts in the “Bear Wood” VIP area.  Please contact him directly for more info.]

And if for some reason you cannot volunteer…. be sure to attend!
Buy your VIP pass ticket now and save!

Timely Reminders

The annual Bay Area Reporter’s Besties are coming up, to choose the “LGBTQ Best of the Bay” for 2023.  Vote for your favorite in each category!  And if you choose to vote for us for “best LGBTQ Cultural District”, we thank you!

The meeting of the Arts and Culture Committee is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 6 to 7 pm.  Facebook info is here.  Agenda is here.  Please contact the committee chair, David Hyman, to get on the mailing list for this Committee, or for more info!

The Erotic Storytelling Hour scheduled for 9/28 will be postponed to allow our creatives to recover from Leather Week.  So the next online Erotic Storytelling Hour is Thursday, October 5, 2023, from 8 to 9 pm. Come hear some provocative, graphic, sexy, titillating, and funny stories (and more) from selected writers of our community, hosted by award-winning author Sumiko Saulson. It’s fun, it’s naughty, it’s online.  Click here or here for more details and Zoom link, and click here to see videos of some of our past evenings!  (Be 18+!)

The next meeting of our Diversity and Membership Committee is set for Thursday, October 5, 2023, from 6 to 7 p.m. Join via Zoom here, or call 1 408 638 0968 and use Meeting ID: 878 6588 4248. RSVP is not required.  More info is here, or contact our new Committee Chair, Sumiko Saulson, or We hope you can join us!

The next online meeting of the Land Use Committee Meeting is set for Monday, October 9, 2023, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Zoom into the meeting here. More info is here, or contact <the committee chair.

The next SOMA Origins Walking Tour will be on Sunday, October 15, at 2 pm.  Learn more and register here.

The next meeting of the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District Board of Directors will be Wednesday, October 18, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. As always, all are welcome to attend, and time is reserved for public comment.  ASL interpretation provided if requested ten days in advance. To participate, join the Zoom meeting here, or call 1-408-638-0968 and use Meeting ID: 847 8906 0820 and Passcode: 972086.  The draft agenda will be posted soon.   More info is on Facebook here.  Please contact if you have questions. Minutes of past Board meetings can be reviewed here.

The next online meeting of the Communications Committee has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 19, 2023, from 6 to 7 pm.  Join via Zoom here.  More info is here, or contact the committee chair,  Bob Brown.

The Bearrison Street Fair will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from noon to 6 pm, on Harrison Street at 11th Street.  Full info is here or here.

The Fundraising Committee meets irregularly, as needed.  Please contact the committee chair to get on the mailing list for this Committee, or for more info!

A Governance and Legislation Committee meeting will be scheduled when needed. Please contact the committee chair, Bob Brown, to sign up, or for more info!

We send out a newsletter each month, right before our Board Meeting.  Do you get it?
If not, view a recent newsletter here, then sign up to get it monthly here.

Speaking of newsletters, the SOMA West Community Benefit District does a great one, highlighting events — both social and political — affecting our part of the City.  Check it out and subscribe here.

San Francisco has nine Cultural Districts, each supporting a unique aspect of the City’s cultural mosaic.  Links to each of them are here. For more in-depth coverage, you can subscribe to a newsletter, published quarterly by the Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development.

We keep adding links to our Resource Guide page.  Use it!

Threats to our South of Market businesses and institutions can arise quickly, and may require a quick community response.  Sign up here to join our SOMA Action network.

If you have not yet seen it, please read our Statement of Solidarity, and consider what you personally can do to fight racism, injustice, and abuse of police power.

The next meeting of the Board of the Friends of Eagle Plaza is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11, 2023, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.  To be added to the “Friends of Eagle Plaza” mailing list, click here.  To make a donation to the Friends of Eagle Plaza, click here. To stay up to date, like and follow them on Facebook.  To learn more about the Plaza’s design, construction and stewardship, click here, or write to

LeatherWalk Launches LeatherWeek

An estimated 125 members of the Leather, kink and queer communities gathered at City Hall on Sunday morning for LeatherWalk 2023.

LeatherWalk 2023 gathering at Oasis, photo by Dave Fong.

We walked together to celebrate leather, kink, family and community — all while raising funds for the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District.

This year’s top fundraiser was Reika Faust, and she will receive the coveted 2023 LeatherWalk Kinky Boot Award.

The walk began at SF City Hall, where we were welcomed by District Six Supervisor Matt Dorsey.  We proceeded down and across Market Street  and through SOMA, with refreshment, entertainment and shopping stops at Oasis, Hole in the Wall, Powerhouse, Azúcar Lounge, the Folsom Street Community Center, Leather Etc., Mr. S Leather, Lone Star Saloon, and SF Eagle.

We walked the length of the Ringold Leather History Walk, and paused for the Blessing of the Leathers by Faithful & Fabulous Minister John Brett at the Ringold Leather History Monument.

The Walk arrived at Eagle Plaza in time to join the Leather Pride Fest, to be welcomed by Mayor London Breed, and to participate in the celebratory raising of the Leather Pride Flag, heralding the beginning of 2023’s Leather Week.

Here are a few pictures from the Walk and the Festival.


Welcome to Leather Fest (video by Norm Lynde)

Raising the Leather Flag (video by Huggybear)

A full gallery of pictures by Dave Fong can be found here.

An additional gallery of pictures, by Fire Dragon Photography, can be found here.

Folsom Street Cleanup

The folks of TogetherSF have organized a weekly “West SOMA Cleanup”, on Saturday afternoons from 4 to 5 pm.

Volunteers meet at Driftwood (1225 Folsom St) to grab supplies and form a crew.

Stay afterwards for a free drink on the house!

Join the Civic Joy Fund, RefuseRefuseSF, Shine On, SF Public Works, and TogetherSF for this friendly neighborhood cleanup!

Kudos to Marc Morozumi of Mukunda Studios for all he’s done to make this happen.

Sign up here.  Questions:

Leather Week Events

We are now in the heart of San Francisco’s 2023 Leather Week, which traditionally begins with LeatherWalk and climaxes with the Folsom Street Fair.

This year Leather Week is packed with parties, programs and other activities that celebrate our queer and kinky lives.  Here is an overview of some of these joyous events, with links to more information:

Items in red are produced by the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District.
Items in bold are free admission.  Donations or purchases welcome.

This list does not include many regular kinky weekly or monthly events (such as those listed here), nor some outside the San Francisco South of Market area.

Be sure to check out Andymatic’s Folsom Street Fair Party Guide for lots more information about the parties, and the spirit, of Leather Week.  Our thanks to Andy, and to Race Bannon for the info he shares on Race’s Bar.