Chinatown businesses are suffering — here’s how you can help

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as an increasing number of people opt to stay in.

Shops and restaurants in Chinatowns across the U.S. are especially hurting, due to the xenophobia and racism against the Asian American community. In the satellite Chinatown neighborhood of Flushing, Queens (in New York City), for example, several businesses have reported losses of 50 percent.

To help restaurants weather the storm, Jennifer Tam, a senior communications manager at Foursquare, and Victoria Lee, a corporate travel and meetings strategist at the Estée Lauder Companies, have come together to launch Welcome to Chinatown. The grassroots initiative aims to empower eateries in New York City’s Chinatown by providing a platform to “generate sales through gift cards.”

“Welcome to Chinatown serves as a free voice to generate much needed momentum for one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods and offers resources to launch a new revenue stream during this unprecedented time,” Tam and Lee explain on the initiative’s website. “We’re here to help say Chinatown will always be open for business.”

Customers can purchase either food, gift cards or merchandise by visiting Welcome to Chinatown directly. For businesses that don’t provide gift cards, Tam and Lee have offered to help set up a gift card platform on Square, a mobile payment service.

Currently, 11 restaurants and bars are listed on Welcome to Chinatown’s site, including Cha Chan Tang, Eggloo, Whiskey Tavern, Kong Sihk Tong and Pho Vietnam. For those interested in seeing a full list of businesses to support, click here.

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