Asian-American Businesses Feel Effect of Coronavirus Fear

“This virus does not discriminate and neither should we," said Governor Ned Lamont.

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Amid coronavirus concerns, Governor Ned Lamont and others wanted to show their support for Asian-American businesses which are reporting a drop in sales.

There has not been a confirmed case of coronavirus in Connecticut.

And while the state is thousands of miles from the virus’ epicenter in China, the effect of fears is being felt right here at local restaurants.

At Shu Restaurant in West Hartford, the rush of diners is not quite as busy these days.

“It’s very hard to keep our employees here. We can’t pay them. It’s a bit rough,” said Jack Chiang, the manager at Shu.

Chiang says sales are down about 30 percent at this restaurant and four others in the state he manages.

And he blames concerns about coronavirus, which customers are for some reason linking to Asian-American businesses here in Connecticut.

“It’s not really clear to us either. They don’t tell us straight out. They just worry,” said Chiang.

On Tuesday, Lamont grabbed a table among the dinner crowd as a special guest.

He heard from various owners who are seeing a drop in business.

“This virus does not discriminate and neither should we. We should be out here supporting all of our great restaurants,” said Lamont.

Also stopping by for dinner here was Attorney General William Tong, whose parents used to own a Chinese restaurant nearby.

“This is very personal for all of us and it’s very personal for me,” said Tong.

Tong reminds people as the virus and misinformation spreads, to remember the hard workers who are being affected by fear and to not be afraid.

“I think people should not panic and still come out to feat here,” said Greg Doukas of Mansfield who was eating at Shu on Tuesday.

The manager at Shu says when it comes to their food they shop local and none of their employees have been to China in the last six months.

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