San Francisco Proposes New Regulation for Grocery Stores to Give Ample Notice Before Shutting

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 08, 2024 05:50 AM EDT

Grocery shops in San Francisco would be required to provide six months' notice before shutting their doors and to explore finding a new supermarket at the vacant spot, according to a lawmaker's proposal.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Dean Preston has presented a bill he is calling the Grocery Protection Act, according to Fox Business. This measure is an offshoot of the one that the board passed in 1984. However, Mayor Dianne Feinstein rejected it.

A lawmaker's proposal would require San Francisco grocery stores to provide six months' notice before closing and to look for a replacement supermarket. 
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Grocery Protection Act and Its Relevance

As part of Preston's proposal, the Board of Supervisors and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) would need written notification from grocery shop owners six months in advance before the planned closure. Notifications would also have to be posted at all entrances and exits of the shop to keep customers and the public informed.

The measure would force grocery businesses to engage with area residents and the OEWD to find a solution to keep groceries accessible. Solutions include finding ways to keep the business operational, helping neighbors form a cooperative, or finding a new grocery store operator.

"Meeting the food security needs of our seniors and families cannot be left to unilateral, backroom decisions by massive corporate entities," Preston said in January, Axios reported.

Also Read: California to Impose New $20 Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

Who Gets the Six-Month Notice Exemption?

Closing an establishment because it is not profitable would not be prohibited under the rule.

Additionally, in the event of a natural catastrophe or emergency, or if the closure is the result of business conditions that could not have been reasonably anticipated when notification would have been necessary, the six-month notice requirement will not be applied.

It is also not necessary if the company is currently trying to secure funding or customers that would delay or prevent the closure. Another case is if the company believes notifying customers would have prevented the store from getting the money or customers it needed to remain open.

Even with those limitations, grocery shops must provide as much warning as possible before closing and explain why.

Under the law, anybody harmed by a grocery store's noncompliance might sue for damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or a writ of mandate.

Also Read: Indian Company Allegedly Supplies US With Contaminated Shrimps, Possibly Violating Food Safety Law

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