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Despite no coronavirus, Chinatown suffering

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 18:20:07-05

CHINATOWN — Business impacts due to misinformation continue to plague Chinatown despite no positive tests for coronavirus in NYC.

“Look at the window, most of the ducks are still hanging over there, and that means business is not doing that well,” said Chi Vy Ngo, owner of New York Bo Ky on Baxter Street.

He says that his business is down 60 to 70% — and he is not alone.

“I walk around the area, I see the market empty, most of the restaurants empty, Ngo said.

The city estimates Chinatown has seen an estimated 40% slide in business across all sectors including the souvenir shops, jewelry stores, and hotels.

“I don’t know why they’re scared, nothings happened,” said one souvenir vendor who said he would struggle to make rent this month.

On Wednesday, The Chinatown Partnership teamed up with the two local councilwomen to encourage people to bring businesses back to Chinatown. They encouraged people to “show some love” to Chinatown this Valentine’s Day.

“We’ve got a lot to offer in this community,” said Councilwoman Margaret Chin. “We need to turn this crisis into an opportunity.”

Politicians have been steadily making this plea since the coronavirus outbreak began. The mayor was among those who made a point to dine in Chinatown earlier in the week.

The one thing nobody Chinatown will be able to do anything about is the dropped in Chinese tourism as a result of the coronavirus.

The Chinatown Business Improvement District estimates it’s losing perhaps tens of thousands of dollars per day on that front.