October 21, 2020
Read Time 3 mins
Photo: Dave Krugman
Although cities nationwide have since re-opened for limited restaurant business, Chinese restaurants around the country continue to experience unprecedented economic hardship. In April, Business Insider reported 233,000 Asian-American small businesses had closed, and CNN estimated 59 percent of independently owned Chinese restaurants nationwide had ceased credit card and debit card transactions, implying they had permanently shuttered.
It’s been particularly heartbreaking for me, as a Chinese American, to witness the closing of legacy businesses and restaurants that have been part of their communities for decades, some dating back over 60 years.
In New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, the pandemic wiped out a steady customer base of both tourism and walk-in traffic from office workers. Now facing back rent and mounting bills, and with the onset of cold weather and limited indoor dining, barely surviving establishments are hanging on by sheer grit. We urgently need the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign, which asks each of us—including family and friends—to support these restaurants just by showing up, either for takeout or dining in.
Here are six simple ways to support your local Chinese-American businesses:
This is a crisis and without steady patronage, these businesses will not survive. I truly believe if we all pitch in, we can save these eateries and treasured ethnic neighborhoods everywhere. So get out there and #SaveChineseRestaurants!
Join our Instagram campaign to #SaveChineseRestaurants:
Learn more about the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign and how you can keep independent restaurants open for good.
Open for Good is a campaign which aims to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, rebuild better, and thrive for the long term.
Grace Young is a James Beard Award–winning cookbook author, culinary historian, stir fry guru, and wok therapist. Learn more about her work at graceyoung.com.
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