SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edwin Lee announced on Monday, December 23 that the new Shop Chinatown 888 campaign and that new Little Saigon street banners to promote the Tenderloin’s Larkin Street Corridor to assist small businesses in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office website.
“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.”
Both projects are supported by economic development grant funding thanks to the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods initiative which is aimed to develop neighborhoods throughout the city. The Shop Chinatown 888 is a pilot neighborhood marketing program that was created by the Chinatown Community Development Center with assistance by the city. The goal of Shop Chinatown 888 is develop businesses near the Chinatown Central Subway and Chinese Hospital construction projects.
Stores that participate in the project will provide a stamp to any customer that spends at least $8. When 10 stamps are collected, the customer is entered into a drawing to win prizes. The drawing will take place on February 15, 2014 at 12 p.m. at the Chinese New Year Chinatown Community Street Fair. Some of the 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.
The Little Saigon banner project is headed by The North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District with assistance from the Southeast Asian Community Center and the Cova Hotel. The new banner was selected through a competitive process that included community feedback that were held during public meetings throughout the summer. The banner includes a dragon motif and a drawing of a famed Vietnamese marketplace building. The new banners replace the old designs that were implemented over nine years ago. Fifteen new companies have opened offices on Larkin Street near Central Market.
“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,” states the press release.
Invest in Neighborhoods has been responsible for the development and expansion of a multitude of programs in 2013 including:
• 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, andNorthBeachafter a successful launch in theRichmond, 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 inSan 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.
To learn more about Invest In Neighborhoods programs visit www.oewd.org.
By LaDale Anderson