Weeks before the first reported U.S. case of Covid-19, the future pandemic was already inflicting economic damage in the Chinatowns of several U.S. cities. During what should have been the busiest time of the year in these Asian-American enclaves, business was down.
Now, as the country copes with a new surge of infections and braces for a second year of pandemic misery, business owners and community leaders fear that these historic entry points for Chinese and other Asian immigrants may never return to their pre-pandemic stature. Instead, the economic pain that Chinatowns are now enduring could be a glimpse of broader devastation to come.
“What distinguishes Chinatown businesses is that they’ve been facing financial and fiscal problems for a much longer time, with deeper cuts to revenues,” said Paul Ong, an economist and urban planner at UCLA who directs its Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. “If we see that they aren’t coming back at a meaningful level over the next year, that would tell us a lot about businesses in other communities. It’s that early experience that makes them a potential leading indicator of other changes that are lagging behind.”
Read the full Bloomberg City Article here >>> Chinatown Businesses Face a Particularly Brutal Winter