Senator Kaplan Brings Chinese Consul General, Local Officials, Small Business Owners & Civic Leaders Together in Great Neck to Declare Asian-American Establishments "Open For Business"

The important display of solidarity between all levels of government, international officials, and local stakeholders comes at a time when many Asian-owned businesses across the region are reporting a 40-70% decrease in business due to fears over coronavirus, despite there being NO confirmed cases in New York

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(Great Neck, NY) -- On Saturday, February 22, 2020, Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Chair of the NYS Senate Committee on Commerce, Small Business, and Economic Development, was joined by Huang Ping, Consul General of the Peoples Republic of China in New York, Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink, Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey, Great Neck Plaza Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen, leadership from local Chinese American Civic Organizations, School and Library Board Members, and local small business owners, to declare that Asian-American Small Businesses and Restaurant are Open for Business, and to urge residents to stand by their neighbors and patronize these local establishments that are a critical part of Long Island's downtowns and communities.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and right now, many small businesses owned by our Asian-American neighbors are suffering due to unfounded fears of the coronavirus. These businesses are part of the fabric of our downtowns, and if they're forced to lay-off staff or close their doors, it would be a huge loss for everyone. That's why I'm urging all Long Islanders to step up and show their support for these local businesses during their time of need, and asking people to shop local, eat local, and spread the word that it's safe to do so."

"We have so many phenomenal Asian-American owned businesses and restaurants in our town," said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. "We strongly encourage everyone to continue frequenting these establishments as they truly are an integral part our business community."

Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink said "I thank Senator Kaplan and Consul General Huang Ping for bringing to light that these businesses are important staples to the community. We should continue to be good patrons to our members of the small business community."

Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey said "It is important to support our local small businesses. Many Chinese and Asian restaurants and small businesses in our community are experiencing significant decreases in revenue over the past two months because of anxiety over the coronavirus. We have the power to help keep them in business, and we all need to do our part and invest in our community. My heart goes out to all residents and businesses affected by the coronavirus and restrictions on travel. We need to be grateful to all health care workers around the globe who are treating the ill and fighting this situation."

Village of Great Neck Plaza Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen said "Senator Anna Kaplan is to be commended for organizing and sponsoring a luncheon for a number of governmental and civic association representatives at the New Fu Run Restaurant in Great Neck this past Saturday afternoon. The present outbreak of the Coronavirus unfortunately has had a major impact on business activity in many local Chinese restaurants and other small business establishments. It is important that people act based upon facts and not based on unfounded rumors and fears. As the Senator stated on Saturday, fortunately, there have been no incidents of the virus in New York. Eating in local Chinese restaurants and shopping in local Chinese establishments does not create any greater risk than eating and shopping in other establishments. We must support our local small businesses and that is particularly true at a time like this when some of these businesses are hurting because of unfounded fears and rumors."

Local Real Estate Broker Rachel Sha said "I would like to thank Senate Kaplan and Consul General Huang Ping for today's "open for business" event in Great Neck. Despite the fact that there is no confirmed case of Corona-virus in New York, many Chinese American businesses are being impacted. As a real estate agent, I had clients who are reluctant to show homes to Chinese customers due to the fear of potential Corona-virus. We live in diverse communities. While it's important to be cautious, there's no need to panic. It's time for us to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy."

Those in attendance on Saturday enjoyed exquisite, traditional Chinese lovingly prepared by the chefs of New Fu Run Restaurant, while discussing the decline in business with the restaurant's owner, Tina Zhang, and other Asian-American small business owners from the Great Neck area. Following lunch, the group visited Creative Beauty Studio, and spoke with the owner and staff about how their business is being impacted.

Despite there being no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York, Asian-American small business and restaurant owners are reporting significant downturns in business due to fears of the virus, of as much as 40-70%. Many small businesses in New York operate on very tight margins, so a prolonged downturn in business could jeopardize the ability of many of these businesses to maintain current staffing levels, or even keep their doors open.