Coronavirus: Concerns grow over economic impact of pandemic in Southern California

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Fears of the coronavirus are affecting businesses from restaurants to shopping malls. Many organizations are feeling the impact on their bottom line, and that's affecting employees.

A sign outside Henry Cuisine Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley informed customers that they are now closed through the end of April. The restaurant cites a decline in business because of the coronavirus and they're not the only ones.

Nearly 60% of the workforce in California gets paid by the hour, about 9.8 million people.

"Everybody's scared about this virus especially it's more real now since it's been coming out with the sports world. I'm assuming they're being precautious today.... Opened at 10, I haven't sold an item yet and it's about to be noon," said Rene Castle, who manages a sports clothing store at the Westfield Topanaga Mall.

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Grand Central Market is still open for business and was crowded as usual on Thursday. The 35 vendors were working with management on good hygiene practices to keep guests safe.

"It's a scary time for people who work on an hourly wage, that need their paycheck to feed their families, to stay under a roof that's safe.... Our hands are being washed. Our services are being clean. Their food is very safe here," said Lydia Clarke, owner of DTLA Cheese.

"Everyone is really committed to staying open and keeping business as usual. We've all decided to work together as a community as we need to do in times like this," said Erin Mavian, Creative Director at Grand Central Market.

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An executive order by Gov. Newsom on Thursday removes the waiting period for unemployment and disability insurance for those who lose work as a result of the outbreak.

"We are uniquely positioned to meet this moment. That said, the economic destruction is profound and real and clearly it's going to have an impact on our state treasury. Too early to determine what impact," he said.

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There were less crowds at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic grows, leaving some concerned.

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