San Francisco’ nightlife scene generally only makes headlines when something bad happens outside a club or restaurant. But according to a new report by the San Francisco Controller’s Office, the industry contributes more than $4 billion to the local economy.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that the study was called for by Supervisor Scott Wiener as he “hoped (it) would shed light on the economic impacts of nightlife.”

“Entertainment and nightlife are frequent subjects of discussion at City Hall, in the press and in the community, and there is frequently focus on the negatives,” Wiener told the paper. “We sometimes even pass legislation based on these sporadic negative events. In the future, my view is this study will provide policy makers the data to make decisions.”

The report , which surveyed 3,200 nighttime establishments – including restaurants, bars, music venues and art galleries – that are open after 8 p.m., also found that the entertainment industry employs 48,000 people and pays $55 million in taxes to San Francisco.

Chief Economist Ted Egan said that perhaps the biggest surprise was that 36 percent of the people who were surveyed visit from other Bay Area counties and more than half of the $4.2 billion impact comes from people who don’t live in San Francisco.

The report did not include outdoor festivals, but the Board of Supervisors is hoping to study their impact on the local economy in the near future.



Photo Credit: Allie Foraker