Asian American Business Face Distinct Challenges Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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The gate into San Francisco's Chinatown at the intersection of Bush and Grant Streets. (Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia )

Businesses across the country are struggling because of the pandemic, but Asian American establishments face particular challenges. In addition to steep drops in revenue and little help from the government , racism and xenophobia are also taking a toll. Now that the pandemic has stretched on for almost a year, some owners are scrambling to survive as consumers spend less at restaurants, nail salons, and dry cleaners. In the Bay Area, a “Save our Chinatowns” campaign is urging people to support Asian-owned businesses. We’ll look at how the pandemic is affecting California’s Asian-American businesses and find out about efforts to support them.


Frances Nguyen, freelance journalist; author of the recent Vox article, "The invisible struggle of the Asian American small-business owner"

Stella Yi, assistant professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Brandon Jew, executive chef and owner, Mr. Jiu's in San Francisco's Chinatown and Mamahuhu in the Richmond District in San Francisco

Finnie Phung, owner, Green Fish Seafood Market in Oakland