Korean American dry cleaners search for COVID help

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The coronavirus pandemic decimated many businesses, including one industry that didn’t get much attention.

We’re talking about your neighborhood dry cleaners.

A group of Korean American dry cleaner owners has launched a petition drive in California to try to get more funding to save mom-and-pop dry cleaning businesses around the Bay Area.

They say many of them were denied funding when the last round of stimulus funds was available.

The head of the Federation of Korean Dry Cleaners Association says they simply don’t have the political strength that many other industries have over lawmakers.

“Most of them, about 90% is all mom and pop stores. So we don’t have a resource to go to the government to say that this is our situation and we need the government help,” Danile Lee said. “The PPP loans the SBA was providing for us to, we got, most of the dry cleaners got the first one, but that second PPP, which is they give them a lot more than first the PPP. And, um, in myself I didn’t get that.”

The National Cleaners Association says one of six dry cleaning businesses had to close their doors due to the pandemic but the losses among Asian American businesses maybe even higher.

The petitions will be sent to state lawmakers in Sacramento.

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