Gratitude for San Francisco

There are many reasons to be thankful in San Francisco. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we take pause to acknowledge some of the things that make our city great.

Unlike many other counties, the City and County of San Francisco continues to be a powerful economic engine for our state and our nation. In fact, according to a new analysis from the City Economist, San Francisco is the fastest growing large county in the nation boasting a private sector employment growth rate of just over 6 percent. As a result, employment has now reached pre-recession levels, providing jobs to over 490,000 people.

Adding 7,701 new jobs to the local economy in 2013, the tech sector is clearly a key driver of our success – and for this we should be thankful. However, we must also recognize many other sectors of our economy that are contributing to our city’s recovery. Construction, professional services, hospitality and other industries that make up or local economy are also growing, adding more than 28,000 new jobs this year. We are truly fortunate to live in a city with such a diverse and robust business environment.

This year, San Francisco has enjoyed a spotlight on the world stage. More than 250 million people got a look at our brilliant cityscape while tuning in to the 34th America’s Cup hosted here. More recently, social media, newspaper and TV attention on #SFBatkid showcased our city’s unparalleled spirit of generosity to an estimated 1.7 billion people across the globe. These spectacular images and impressions are sure to pique the interest of travelers for years to come.

As business leaders and job creators, one of the most important things to be thankful for is the congenial culture of dialogue and debate which now prevails in San Francisco. While we’ve made great progress in economic recovery, many challenges remain. The Chamber feels fortunate that the business community can engage our city leaders on issues like housing affordability, taxation and homelessness with mutual candor and courtesy. This will be especially important as we work together to create solutions in the year ahead.

This Thanksgiving, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce expresses our gratitude for the many attributes that make San Francisco great. We also thank our members for your continued commitment and support, without which the Chamber’s work would not be possible. We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Bob Linscheid is President & CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce