San Francisco’s Slow Reopening Frustrates City’s Small Businesses

The San Francisco region has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country but one of the lowest return-to-office rates, a disconnect that bodes ill for the future of the city that had been the booming center of the U.S. technology sector before the pandemic.

As of July 4, about 76% of eligible San Francisco residents have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 67% for the U.S. as a whole, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the San Francisco area trails the rest of the country in going back to the office—with less than 20% of the city’s workforce returned as of mid-June, compared with a U.S. average of 32%, according to Kastle Systems, a nationwide security company that monitors access-card swipes.

The decreased foot traffic has meant many of the stores and restaurants in San Francisco’s once-thriving business district remain closed. “It’s a ghost town,”…

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