San Francisco Business

San Francisco Business


San Francisco is the hub of business, banking and tech companies on the West coast. Fortune 500 companies like Pacific Gas and Electric and Gap Inc. are headquartered in the city, along with Levi Strauss, Dolby Laboratories and Del Monte Foods. Finance, insurance and real estate are also prominent in the economy of San Francisco. Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, Bank of the West, and VISA call the city home. The biggest public company in the Bay Area is Chevron.

Tech companies are among the biggest employers. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Hewlett Packard comprise the biggest part of the high tech sector located in Silicon Valley at the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay. By 2006 there were 386,000 high-tech jobs in the Bay Area. The dot.com bubble in the 1990’s resulted in the sudden influx of wealth into its communities with the meteoric growth of technology and computer businesses. Young urban professionals and entrepreneurs with ideas for start-up companies flocked to Potrero Hill, SoMa and the Mission District and poor neighborhoods became “gentrified” as they moved in. An average of 64 millionaires were being created every day in the Bay Area in the late ‘90’s. When the boom went bust in 2000, many small companies collapsed but some managed to hang on through the resulting recession and others failed in the downturn after September 11, 2001. Familiar names like “Craigslist,” “Wikipedia,” and “Twitter,” base their operations in San Francisco today.

George Lucas’ hugely successful digital effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, is based at the Presidio at the Letterman Digital Arts Center.

Tourism also has a big piece of the San Francisco economy. The “City by the Bay” hosts the third highest number of foreign tourists in the U.S. In 2007, San Francisco had over 16 million visitors who injected $8.2 billion into its economy. Pier 39 is the third most popular American attraction and the Moscone Center is among the top ten conference and convention centers.



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