SF bookstore Borderlands comes up with plan to avoid closure 

click to enlarge Borderlands Books in the Mission district came up with a plan to avoid closing, which it previously said would happen due to San Francisco's upcoming minimum wage increases. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Borderlands Books in the Mission district came up with a plan to avoid closing, which it previously said would happen due to San Francisco's upcoming minimum wage increases.

Borderlands Books might be spared from the ranks of closed bookstores in the Mission district after all, store owner Alan Beatts said Thursday.

The first of several planned minimum wage hikes in San Francisco prompted Beatts to announce that Borderlands would close March 1. But after hearing an outcry of support from the community at a public meeting Feb. 12, Beatts now says his store could survive through community sponsorships.

“If you want Borderlands to continue, it is in your hands,” Beatts told the public in a blog post on the store’s website.

The business model: Beatts needs 300 individuals to sponsor Borderlands with $100 contributions before March 31 in order to keep the business afloat and balance out the minimum wage increase of $15 by 2018.

The catch: Sponsors will have to continue to pledge that same amount every year or Beatts will have to shut down the shop.

However, if 300 sponsors do not offer their support in the short time frame then the business will close, and sponsors will only be refunded $75 each.

Beatts previously told The San Francisco Examiner that he would be uncomfortable accepting “handouts.” But suggestions at the public meeting last week as to potential efforts to save Borderlands led him to come up with the sponsorship plan.

“I really wasn’t anticipating any workable solution to come up,” Beatts wrote. “But, I thought that there was enough interest that it would be worth giving it a try.”

If his plan works and Borderlands flourishes, the sponsorships will include special benefits with sponsor-only events, clothing and first access to limited-availability items. For a small fee, Beatts’ adjoining cafe will also be made available after hours for sponsors, he said.

“While we’re feeling quite hopeful about this as a possible solution, we don’t want to get our hopes too high,” Beatts said. “I think the best term for how we’re feeling is ‘cautiously optimistic.’”

If you would like to help Borderlands, the blog post contains more information about how to become a sponsor. The store is accepting payments in person, over the phone or by mail. Borderlands is located at 866 Valencia St. in the Mission.

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