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In Chinatown, A Community Envisions Alternatives To Sixers Arena

Joy. While it’s been a contentious 18 months of protests, marching, and debating about a proposed new basketball arena in Philadelphia’s Center City, for at least one Saturday morning, an urban planning and design discussion about the proposed arena location brought some joy to the conversation. At the Center for Architecture in Philly, just a few blocks from the site of the proposed arena, about a hundred people gathered on Jan. 27 to brainstorm alternative uses for the site. The public workshop was organized by the Save Chinatown Coalition, an alliance of 245 organizations from Chinatown and around the city who oppose the new arena because they fear its proximity to Chinatown will disrupt and displace the community.

March To Save Philadelphia’s Chinatown

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A show of force and unity will take place in Philadelphia April 29 with the message, “No Arena in the Heart of Our City.” Marching from Chinatown to the much-criticized proposed site of a new basketball arena and then on to City Hall, Chinatown residents and allies will be telling the City Council and the mayor that the people are united in opposing the blatant land grab by billionaire developers. In the words of the Save Chinatown Coalition: “The event will be a demonstration of joy, creativity and the power of connecting across communities. It will be a demonstration of fierce resistance to those who seek to tear apart communities and disrupt and distort the Heart of our City in their boundless drive for profits.”

City Excludes Parts Of Chinatown From Small Business Pandemic Loans

A city pandemic loan program intended to help out small businesses in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color has left out a swath of Manhattan's Chinatown. In late November, the city's Department of Small Business Services launched a $35 million low-to-moderate income storefront loan program. Small businesses in certain neighborhoods could receive up to $100,000 in a zero-interest loan. The funds would provide loans for at least 350 businesses across the city, depending on the size of loans allocated. To qualify, businesses need to have fewer than 100 employees and be located in a low- to moderate-income ZIP code. But not all of Chinatown—a "hard-hit" neighborhood that was reeling from economic impacts from COVID-19 even before the city became the epicenter of the pandemic—was included.
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