Asian-owned small businesses saw an outsized pandemic impact last year


Nancy Yu has been a staple in San Francisco’s Chinatown for more than two decades. Her store, Asiastar Fantasy, sells souvenirs, gifts and cultural items like red envelopes for Lunar New Year. While she’s weathered many challenges over the years, she’s never seen anything quite like 2020.

“Last year was a very difficult time — not just for us in Chinatown, but the whole city, the whole world,” Yu said.

Her sales are down 80% due to the pandemic. But for the last several months, Yu has been opening her store for several hours a day to be present for the community, even as business remains low.

“We want to send a message to people and ultimately say ‘Keep Chinatown open, we welcome you,'”…


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