2012 has been a milestone year for San Francisco. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and the 100th anniversary of Muni. We kicked-off the first series of America’s cup races. The Giants won the World Series – again!
San Francisco also made great progress on continued economic recovery. Over the past year, unemployment has fallen to 6.5 percent, commercial office vacancy has declined to approximately 10 percent and hotel occupancy recently topped 80 percent. By nearly all economic indicators, San Francisco continued to outpace the state and nation in 2012.
As this notable year comes to a close, the Chamber takes pause to recognize the many businesses that are keeping our city strong. In 2012, local businesses supported over 450,000 private-sector jobs. Together, these businesses generate $600 million in payroll and other taxes each year to support vital city services. The city’s top corporate philanthropists give approximately $100 million to local charities annually. San Francisco is fortunate to have a robust economy filled with good corporate citizens.
Nonprofit organizations are also playing a role in San Francisco’s success, and the numbers speak for themselves. San Francisco Goodwill directly employed more than 800 people at its enterprises and served more than 7,000 through its job training programs this year. United Way Bay Area placed more than 5,000 youth in jobs and internships. The San Francisco Foundation prepared more than 500 Bay Area residents for careers in fast-growing sectors. Enterprise for High School Students helped 300 youth explore career opportunities and find jobs. And the list goes on.
Many other organizations are helping to serve those most in need and improve the quality life for all residents. In 2012, the American Red Cross Bay Area assisted 1,000 local families with emergency relief support services and educated over 36,000 others on how prepare for an emergency. Meals on Wheels delivered nearly 1 million meals to over 2,400 homebound seniors. Organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Blood Centers of the Pacific and Family House are providing critical health services for those fighting illness, as well as their families. San Francisco benefits greatly from the robust network of nonprofit and charitable organizations located here.
The Chamber is proud to serve San Francisco businesses and many of the nonprofit organizations that continue to power our economy and make our city a great place to live, work and visit. We applaud our members for your many contributions to our city and thank you for your continued support of the Chamber. Your investments are making a difference and creating a better San Francisco.
We wish you a safe, happy and prosperous holiday season and we look forward to serving you in 2013.