The vivid and bustling Chinatowns of some of the United States’ major cities have been taking a hard hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic along with anti-Asian bigotry and a decline in international tourists prior to the state lockdowns. Many shop and restaurant owners reported that they were experiencing a drop up to 70% in sales at the start of the complete shutdown back in March . As the pandemic continued, some larger restaurants were able to open at 25% capacity. However, smaller restaurants were not able to achieve this due to the lack of space and therefore went out of business. Outdoor seating tends to pose an issue as well; many restaurants are located on slanted roads which make it difficult to have outdoor dining available in the first place, and as winter approaches, fewer people will be wanting to dine in the colder temperatures. Because of the lack of business, the fear of eviction has also come into play, and the history in these cities have made it difficult for re-location.
On the flip side, many young Asian-Americans have taken it upon themselves to raise funds and promote various shops on social media in an attempt to continue to gain support and customers during these difficult times. A nonprofit called Send Chinatown Love, made up of about 200 volunteers, is an organization that creates websites for restaurants and organizes food crawls for them to gain more attention . Many of the children of the owners have taken off of their jobs to help with running the business, like Jefferson Li. Li has taken to working 14 hour days at his parents’ butcher shop, 47 Division Street Trading Inc., in New York City. He helps with deliveries, taking orders, and he uses social media as well to gain younger customers. Chinatown sadly will continue to suffer through more losses during the winter as a third wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit. Supporting the local shops or donating to raise funds for restaurants and shops is extremely beneficial to help keep these communities alive and thriving.