NOVEMBER 2002

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Moving On
From SeGye
Oct 9, 2002

By Kim, Sang-Gook

Kim, a nail-salon owner, is seriously considering moving to Texas as the recession continues. "There are much less customers than before," Kim said, "we are planning to close our business and move to Dallas because business here is getting worse and living expenses are relatively high. My husband is visiting Dallas to look for the place to start the business."

One Korean dry-cleaning owner mentioned, "Dry cleaners usually become busy from September when the weather starts getting cooler. However, nowadays, there are even less people than in the summer when there are least customers"

The recession in New York City along with talks about the war against Iraq have cost the Korean immigrants a serious drop in their business, many of which are dry-cleaners, nail salons, delis and retailer shops.

One member from the Korean Apparel Contractors Association of Greater New York said, "About 150 Korean-owned companies across Manhattan and Queens are in bad condition. Some of them are closed and some others are changing into another business."

Increased numbers of Korean retailers and wholesalers are moving to other states such as Texas, California and Georgia. Mr.Whang, the president of Global Shipping and Trucking USA, Inc., said, "The number of Korean businesses that moved to Atlanta increased from 30 percent to 40 last year. And many more companies are following this trend."

As the overall national economy is in bad shape, people’s greatest concern is unemployment. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Public Relation Firms who surveyed 671 workers, the biggest concern was unemployment (19 percent), going out of business (13 percent), and losing their employee retirement savings (12 percent). Only 4 percent of people worried about company relocation.

Translated from Korean by JooYeon Lee


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