Mayor Lee Announces New Neighborhood Investment Efforts in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Little Saigon

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Shop Chinatown 888 Campaign & New Larkin Street Banners Are New Invest In Neighborhoods Efforts to Promote Commercial Districts During Holiday Season & Year Round

The North of Market Tenderloin / Community Benefit District, Southeast Asian Community Center and Cova Hotel hosted a reception to celebrate the new Little Saigon banner design and installation for the Larkin Street corridor in San Francisco's Little Saigon at Sao Bien Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant on Dec. 11. Photo by Susan Ma.

The North of Market Tenderloin / Community Benefit District, Southeast Asian Community Center and Cova Hotel hosted a reception to celebrate the new Little Saigon banner design and installation for the Larkin Street corridor in San Francisco’s Little Saigon at
Sao Bien Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant on Dec. 11. Photo by Susan Ma.

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the new Shop Chinatown 888 campaign and the installation of new Little Saigon street banners to promote the Tenderloin’s Larkin Street Corridor in new efforts to support small businesses in San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods. Both of these projects are supported through economic development grant funding made possible by the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods initiative, which seeks to create and support healthy, vibrant and economically resilient neighborhood commercial corridors in 25 neighborhood commercial districts across the City.

“Our goal is to encourage residents to support local small businesses in our City’s unique, diverse business corridors such as Little Saigon and Chinatown,” said Mayor Lee. “Through my Invest in Neighborhoods initiative, we are providing support to the small businesses that support San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods and economy, and we are building strong communities at the same time.”

Shop Chinatown 888, a pilot neighborhood marketing program created by the Chinatown Community Development Center with support from the City, will incentivize additional spending in the neighborhood during the holiday season and in anticipation of the 2014 Chinese New Year. Shop Chinatown 888 is aimed at supporting small businesses particularly impacted by the Chinatown Central Subway and Chinese Hospital construction projects.

Shop Chinatown 888 was developed with a $20,000 Invest in Neighborhoods grant and provides Chinatown shoppers the opportunity to win prizes for patronizing stores on Stockton between Sacramento and Jackson, and on several adjacent blocks of Clay, Washington and Jackson. Participating stores will provide a stamp to customers for every eight dollars they spend. By collecting ten stamps, they may enter into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will take place on February 15, 2014 at noon at the Chinese New Year Chinatown Community Street Fair. Prizes include two Southwest Airline tickets and a banquet dinner at R&G Lounge.

“I’m excited to see the Chinatown community come together to ensure that small businesses continue to thrive while the Central Subway and Chinese Hospital projects are underway,” said Supervisor David Chiu. “I encourage our residents to participate in the Shop Chinatown 888 campaign, and I look forward to congratulating the prize winners at next year’s Chinese New Year Parade.”

“The Shop Chinatown 888 contest will be an exciting, community based campaign to get more shoppers into stores, and more often,” said Chinatown Community Development Center Community Planning Manager Cindy Wu.

Mayor Lee also announced the installation of the Little Saigon banner project with the support from a $20,000 Invest in Neighborhoods grant. The North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District spearheaded the project in partnership with Southeast Asian Community Center and the Cova Hotel. The new banner design was selected through a competitive process with community feedback provided during public meetings held during the summer. The design has a dragon motif and includes a drawing of a famous Vietnamese marketplace building.

The newly unveiled artwork and banners that now line the corridor replace older versions that were installed over 9 years ago. Larkin Street is in close proximity to Central Market, where more than 15 new companies have established offices. Increased marketing of the restaurants, nightlife, and hotels that populate Little Saigon is intended in part to attract new Central Market employees to this part of the Tenderloin.

To date, Invest in Neighborhoods has provided nearly $535,000 in funding for projects to strengthen neighborhood commercial districts around San Francisco. An additional round of grant awards, totaling up to $400,000, will be released early next year to support additional neighborhood improvement projects, as well as a new program to provide legal services to small businesses at risk of displacement.

Invest in Neighborhoods deploys a suite of newly developed programs designed to assist the City’s small businesses.  Programs that have been developed, launched or expanded in 2013 include:

  • ·         ADA Small Business Assessment Program helps small businesses become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This year the program expanded to serve small businesses in District 6, District 9, and North Beach after a successful launch in the Richmond, Sunset, and Chinatown neighborhoods.
  • ·         StepAheadSF Microloan Pilot Program offers loans of up to $7,500 to qualifying small businesses. This product is available only for a limited time now through December 31, 2013.
  • ·         Emerging Business Loan Fund offers loans between $50,000 and $1,000,000 that support high impact businesses and projects with the potential to increase economic activity in San Francisco as well as create jobs for low to moderate income individuals.
  • ·         SF Shines Façade and Tenant Improvement Program will provide over $1 million in direct assistance to small businesses over the current fiscal year.

For more information about the Invest in Neighborhoods programs and resources in support of small businesses, go to www.oewd.org.

 

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