As most folks wishing to do business in San Francisco know, you gotta spend money before you can can make money — and before that, you gotta spend money on fees, permits and other costs the city charges before a business can merely open its doors.

Sensitive to the plight of small businesses is Supervisor David Chiu, former small business commissioner and current slasher of government bureaucracy. Chiu wielded Tuesday small government’s terrible swift sword, guiding legislation slashing fees for a slew of small businesses through the Board of Supervisors, who approved the cuts unanimously.

“We researched these fees, and we discovered these fees were being charged for the sake of charging, and were not bringing in significant revenues,” Chiu said. “Nobody knew why we were charging these fees…so we’re hoping to remove some of the deadwood in our city bureaucracy, to make it easier [for small businesses] in these tough economic times.”

The full list of small fees — all under $1,000, many under $500 — is available here, but The Appeal is happy to bring you a selection of our favorite eliminated fees.

–$871 permit fee and $310 license fee for amusement parks, levied by SFPD – GONE!
–$413 permit fee on businesses hosting closing-out sales, levied by SFPD – GONE!
–$13 permit fee and $96 license fee for funeral procession escorts in uniform – GONE!
–$125 permit fee on rodeos – GONE!
–$357 permit fee for a fortune teller – GONE!

We regret to inform you that discharging a cannon still carries a $400 fee, and an escort service — yes, that’s what the law says — will cost an owner $709 and an employee $202.

Such is life.

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