It’s not just in China where the effects of the novel coronavirus are being felt – it’s in Chinatowns situated worldwide. Fear is gripping people around the world and, coupled with the uncertainty that is inevitable with the WHO and world leaders dragging their feet, it is keeping people out of Chinese businesses.
As Chinese citizens of other countries try to go about business as usual in the midst of what is likely a growing pandemic, business is collapsing. Lily Zhou’s Chinese restaurant in Australia, for instance, has seen business fall 70%, according to Bloomberg. It now has a board out front where “The restaurant has been sanitized!” is written in Chinese.
Zhou says at this rate, she can only stay in business “at most three months”.
The affect on the local economy has been so bad that the neighborhood of Eastwood is planning on setting up a A$500,000 assistance fund.
But the affects aren’t just being felt in Australia. There are Chinatowns and Chinese businesses in places like Sydney, New York and San Francisco that are all feeling the impact.
99 Favor Taste, a hotpot and BBQ restaurant in lower Manhattan, is now seating customers immediately. The restaurant usually has a half hour wait on weekdays to get a table. “Booths are empty,” said manager Echo Wu.
Wu believes that the fear keeping people out of Chinese businesses is “irrational”. He says customers have even gone so far as to phone ahead to check and make sure the food wasn’t being imported directly from China.
Wu said: “They may have a bias toward Chinese restaurants now. I hope people can be more reasonable. After all, there’s no cases in town yet.”
In Toronto, it’s a similar scene. Business at the Rol San Dim Sum restaurant is down as much as 30% …
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