San Diego has a new official business neighborhood following the City Council’s unanimous vote to approve the Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District.

The area includes a six-block stretch along El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights from Euclid Avenue to Highland Avenue. About 70 percent of the businesses in this corridor are owned by Vietnamese-Americans.

According to Councilmember Marti Emerald, whose district includes Little Saigon, this is the hub of Vietnamese American cultural and commercial activity for the county, which is home to some 40,000 Vietnamese Americans. Many of these people came here following the fall of South Vietnam to the Communist regime in 1975.

By designating the area thusly, it will promote community revitalization and economic improvement, especially for the existing small businesses, and could lead to it attracting tourism, Emerald said.

“This is a fun place to be and it’s only going to get better,” she said.

Two organizations that were most involved in the Little Saigon district formation are the Boulevard Business Improvement Association and the Little Saigon Foundation. The effort was endorsed by the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, the City Heights Area Planning Committee, the San Diego Human Rights Commission, and the San Diego Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce.

— SDBJ Staff Report