Restaurants in Chinatown suffering due to coronavirus

CHINATOWN (KABC) -- Restaurants and local businesses in Chinatown are suffering as a result of coronavirus.

Plum Tree Inn has been in this neighborhood for 40 years.

The restaurant is usually packed with regular customers, especially during lunch hours.

But this week has been different.

"There's definitely been a dip in business, at 20-30% at least," said Elaine Ting, manager of Plum Tree Inn.

Some restaurants and business owners are worried this pandemic might drive them out of the neighborhood for good.

"A lot of small businesses in Chinatown, they are getting squeezed out in this amazon economy, online shopping economy and it's very hard to keep up so there was already lot of pressure," said Shirley Zhang of the Chinatown Business Improvement Development.

Aside from Howlin' Ray's Nashville Fried Chicken, which consistently has a long line, restaurants in Far East Plaza were left with very little business.

Pearl River Deli opened in Far East Plaza six weeks ago.

Though they hadn't seen a dip in sales until this week, they're already planning for the worst.

"We have been talking about a plan B, which is in this case, if this thing really blows up and people do start getting sick, especially in our neighborhoods and just in and around us how are we going to battle that? Do we close, do we only do takeout," said Elaine Chan of Peal River Deli.

One concern customers are worried about is where restaurants are sourcing their ingredients.

But both owners of Plum Tree Inn and Pearl River Deli source all of their ingredients locally.

"A lot of the misinformation and misplaced anger is probably on the Asian community and I feel like that is going to hurt a lot of Asian businesses," said Chan.

"They still have wages, they still have rents and fixed costs to pay," said Zhang.

"And we want to see Chinatown last through this," said Ting.
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