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San Francisco officials help promote Chinatown business during Chinese New Year

(Xinhua)    09:02, January 24, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23 -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed is making joint efforts with elected city officials and Chinatown business and community leaders to help bolster Chinatown business during Chinese Lunar New Year.

With the presence of San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin who represents Chinatown, Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and other officials, Breed kicked off the Chinese New Year Fair, a popular program to improve the shopping experience leading up to the Chinese festival during the lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 5 this year.

Breed praised the efforts made by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association to organize the street fair at the event's opening ceremony held in downtown city on Tuesday, saying that the city recognizes the importance of helping small businesses and providing a better environment for people to observe the Chinese New Year.

The fair is part of the Stockton Street Pedestrian Enhancement Program, which allows merchants along Stockton Street, the main shopping and business area in Chinatown, to set up their merchandise displays in the curbside parking spaces in front of their businesses.

Entering its eighth year, the program is designed to provide more space, safety and comfort for pedestrians as they shop for festive food and wares on the bustling commercial area in Chinatown.

This temporary program will run from Wednesday through Feb. 4, the Chinese New Year's Eve.

Nuru said the program is a "creative solution" to help small businesses thrive while making sure that the busy sidewalks remain safe during the holiday season.

Pius Lee, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, said the Department of Public Works has pushed for the reparation of potholes in the street to ensure pedestrian safety during the fair. The city also helped clean the shop windows to improve the appearance.

According to Lee, the daily revenues during the fair are 10 percent to 15 percent higher than usual. During the program period, many people, including tourists and people from other cultural backgrounds, are attracted to shop traditional Chinese candies, outfits and trinkets, he said.

San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest in the United States, has a history of more than 150 years. With a high density of small businesses, the area has long been a shopping and cultural hub and a tourist destination.

It is one of the most compact and visited neighborhoods in the city. During the Chinese New Year, the streets and sidewalks along Stockton Street in the heart of the vibrant commercial corridor experience a high volume of pedestrian activity.

The compact area of Chinatown's 27 blocks house a community of more than 14,000 residents and over 900 small businesses, according to a 2017 report by the Chinatown Community Development Center.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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