MAY 2002
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Chinatown Still Down

From World Journal
April 27, 2002

Suffering from the devastating impact brought by the September 11 attacks, Chinatown’s economy has not yet recovered seven months after the incident, with businesses losing 25 percent of annual revenues, according to a recent survey by Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC).

The survey, conducted between March 22 and April 9, also showed that half of the businesses in Chinatown lost 50 percent of their customers. Each business lost an average of $58, 463 and was closed for 17 days. There was an average of two lay-offs per business and the highest was 25. Now each business employs an average of five people and only recovered 20 percent.

According to John Wang, AABDC’s president, the businesses that recovered the most are professionals such as lawyers and accountants, and pharmacies among retail businesses. However, tourism-related industries, such as restaurants, jewelry and gift shops, are still down, and many employees in those businesses have been laid off.

The survey also showed that Chinatown businesses received an average of $2,225 in relief funds but need an additional $20,000. Those who received aid from the Small Business Administration got $22,000 on average, but still needed a loan of $50,000.

Wang said the survey showed that the aid provided for Chinatown business is far less than what they lost. Calling for more financial assistance, Wang also urged the government to increase promotion for Chinatown to bring back customers. He suggested that city tourism authorities work with private tourism organizations to better market Chinatown as a tourist destination.

The survey has been submitted to the Alliance of Downtown New York and will be used as a reference for rebuilding Chinatown.

Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung

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