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Support program to help San Francisco Chinatown restaurants launches today

San Francisco Chinatown via Flickr Creative Commons by Karina

Restaurant owners everywhere are still battling with the financial impacts that follow the COVID-19 outbreak. While Chinatown restaurants battle the same issues, they suffer more than others because of the rising rates of xenophobia and other cultural barriers.

The majority of restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown are run by Asian immigrants, who need help finding ways that will manage to keep their small businesses alive after shelter-in-place protocols.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinatown Community Development Center is launching a campaign that will provide financial support for the restaurant owners in San Francisco’s Chinatown, according to CBS SF. The Chinatown Outdoor Dining Support Project kicked off today.

“Many of Chinatown’s restaurants are barely surviving, while many have reopened, they suffer huge revenue losses, hovering around 70%,” the chamber leaders said.

CBS SF reports a Chinatown restaurant survey says one third of the restaurants in Chinatown can potentially close within months.

“It’s a ‘community hub’ for all people to gather and embrace Chinese culture,” Chinese Chamber of Commerce officials said. “Unfortunately, Chinatown restaurants were the first in the city to be impact and have suffered a decline in business since January of this year due to a combination of rising xenophobia along with shelter-in-place orders.”

Shelter-in-place protocols and indoor dining restrictions has changed what the world once knew as a restaurant experience. With only take-out or outdoor dining options, some restaurants will not be able to survive.

Chinatown restaurant owners are forced to advance from traditional stand-only or take-out restaurant norms to new forms of outdoor dining that will reduce the spread of COVID-19, but increase revenue.

The Chinatown Outdoor Dining Support Project will offer struggling businesses a one-time financial grant, amenities like barricades for outdoor dining, and assistance for an application process for San Francisco’s Shared Spaces Program permit.

San Francisco Chinatown businesses are welcome to contact the SF Chinese Chamber of Commerce to submit a one-page application. The deadline to submit an application is Aug. 14, 2020 at 5 p.m.

For other restaurants, organizations like the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) are coming up with more ways to save small businesses during coronavirus impacts.

The IRC is made up of chefs and independent restaurant owners to make sure America’s 500,000 independent restaurants won’t get shut down because of the pandemic. This grassroots movement is fighting for the Restaurants Act, which would establish a $120 billion grant fund program that will be distributed to independent restaurants around the country.

According to IRC, the act would stop millions of restaurant owners from losing their jobs and stop about 85% of independent restaurants from being closed due to coronavirus-related impacts.

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