Coronavirus: 11 Chinatowns In America Have Felt an Economic Impact

The coronavirus also known as Covid-19 has been in the news a lot and a stoked fear and anti-Asian sentiment. Misinformation has spread about the outbreak which originated in China and has affected businesses in China towns across the country.

A Business owner says winters are typically slow in terms of foot traffic because of the weather but this year it’s slower than normal, fears of the coronavirus may be to blame. The business isn’t slowing down but I don’t know how many percentages. 

Lisa saying helps her mom and sisters after more than 30-year-old family-owned Bake Shop st. Anna what keeps them afloat, for now, are their regular customers but they’ve seen a dip during the weekend.

Two confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois the carriers are from a Chicago suburb. A 44-minute drive from Chinatown the women here want to stress that fact and also that Chinatown is open for business.

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Down the street at an Asian grocery store, the manager we spoke to said the store has lost about 10 to 20 percent of its customers so they found a way to make ends meet.

Chinese restaurant MCC B has seen a 30% loss of customers Kyle the owner said he’s seen a decrease in customers of Chinese and Asian heritage.

This isn’t just happening in Chicago’s Chinatown we look through nearly 200 news reports and found at least 11 china towns across the U.S. have also felt an economic impact those places include New York City Philly San Francisco Long Island Seattle LA Oakland and Houston.

In Houston, the coronavirus scare has crushed major Chinatown businesses after a rumor circulated through social media that a store owner was infected and that his shop was closed.

Kenneth Lee from Houston’s Asian Chamber of Commerce said businesses have yet to recover from this misinformation. There’s no single case happened in Houston, all this is false information and then people should come back to shop to eat as usual. 

A resident of Chinatown wears a surgical mask in New York City, U.S., January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

In order to alleviate fears, some Chinatowns have taken proactive approaches to address the situation Houston has held several press conferences with politicians and health officials and so did Chicago’s Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. She says the risk to the general public from this new coronavirus remains low at this time no need to wear masks in public, no need to cancel events and certainly no need to avoid coming to Chinatown.

After New York magazine reported that some New York City Chinatown restaurants felt like a ghost town. New Yorkers and visitors showed their support by attending a recent lion dance parade. Chicago has also kept the recent Lunar New Year parade as planned even though there were fewer attendees than last year.

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