Chinatown offers customers prizes
Updated: 2013-12-24 10:41
By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily USA)
Walk-in customer traffic has been so disrupted by two construction projects in San Francisco's Chinatown that city hall has given them a grant to set up incentive programs to lure shoppers back. Chen Jia / China Daily
In a move to boost small businesses in San Francisco during the holiday season and year round, Mayor Ed Lee announced a new neighborhood investment plan on Monday for Asian communities, including 165-year-old Chinatown.
"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," Mayor Lee said in a statement on Monday.
"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," he said.
The new plan is in two parts: Shop Chinatown 888 Campaign and the installation of new Little Saigon street banners to promote the Tenderloin's Larkin Street Corridor. Both will be supported through economic development grants.
Shop Chinatown 888 will be developed with a $20,000 investment in neighborhoods grant, which offers Chinatown shoppers the chance to win prizes by making purchases in participating stores.
Customers will get a stamp for every eight dollars they spend. With 10 stamps, customers can enter a drawing for prizes, which will be a part of promotional activities on Feb 15, 2014 at noon at the Chinese New Year Chinatown Community Street Fair. Winners could get airline tickets or a banquet dinner at a Chinatown restaurant.
The pilot marketing program was created by the Chinatown Community Development Center with support from the mayor's office.
Cindy Wu, Chinatown community development center planning manager, said the Shop Chinatown 888 contest will be "an exciting, community-based campaign to get more shoppers into stores, and more often".
The mayor's office says the initiative will incentivize additional spending in the neighborhood during the holiday season and in anticipation of the 2014 Chinese Lunar New Year on Jan 31 despite the negative impacts of the Chinatown Central Subway and Chinese Hospital construction projects.
Earlier this month, Chinatown merchants complained about the disruption in customer traffic caused by the construction projects.
"Because of the construction, some Chinatown restaurants are reporting 50-to-70 percent drops in business, and the restaurants are appealing to City Hall for help," Wilma Pang, who championed the protest, told China Daily.
"Though restaurant tables are literally shaking because of heavy machinery, ourcomplaints have been ignored and theCentral Subway and other construction continue with no heed to legal requirements," she said.
"I am 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," David Chiu, the supervisor of San Francisco District 3, said on Monday.
"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,"he said.
(China Daily USA 12/24/2013 page2)