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San Francisco’s Chinatown hopeful despite decline in sales amid coronavirus fears

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The fears surrounding the coronavirus have really taken a toll on tourism in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Facebook announced Friday they’re partnering with the city and offering a $20,000 grant to help Chinatown promote shopping and dining in their neighborhood.

Tane Chan opened the Wok Shop on Grant Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown 52 years ago.

“It’s a landmark here in Chinatown,” Chan said.

Chan said businessowners in Chinatown have seen fewer customers coming into their shops because of people’s fears of the coronavirus.

City leaders reminded everyone that there are no reported cases in the city.

“Sadly, there has been a lot of xenophobia as a result of what’s happening,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said. “Young people in our schools, elderly people, others throughout San Francisco and I want to focus on the fact that there have been no cases in San Francisco.”

“As a preparatory matter, we declared a state of emergency to unleash all resources, to make sure people are safe and healthy and that our economy remains vibrant,” San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

“Coronavirus is very serious and we have to take it seriously,” California Senator Scott Weiner said. “We can’t dismiss it, but on the same token we have to continue to lead our lives. we can’t just shut down and curl up in a ball.”

City leaders want everyone to know Chinatown is open for business.

Facebook helped the neighborhood promote their businesses with a $20,000 grant and $5,000 in Facebook ad credits to encourage people to shop local.

“We will not tolerate rumors, we will not tolerate xenophobia, we will not tolerate racism in San Francisco,” Peskin said. “We are all in it together.”

“We have seen a downtown in walk in traffic but we are all very optimistic because we know our Chinatown,” Chan said. “This too will pass.”

We’re told Chinatown businesses have seen a 70-percent decline, but as Chan said, they are optimistic things will change soon.

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