SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s Chinatown has been honored by the American Planning Association by being named one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods of 2013.

The nation’s oldest and largest Chinatown also received news from Mayor Ed Lee that it’s set to receive some new money to make it even better.

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Lee announced the investment for Chinatown and other San Francisco neighborhoods with the launching of Step Ahead SF, a microloan pilot program that will provide up to $250,000 in zero percent interest loans to support small businesses in commercial corridors.

Chinatown received its recent accolades for its historic role, architecture, and community activism. The mayor said this didn’t come without investment.

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“The people who live there want that investment to be there whether it’s families growing up or immigrants coming in to shop,” Lee said.

The program kicks off in Chinatown for whatever is needed. Lee said it will include graffiti removal and helping people with their facades.

While the district has thrived on tourists who stream up Grant Street, the neighborhood is undergoing transformation with the construction of the Central Subway Project.

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