At Park Asia restaurant, it’s a sign of the times notifying customers that the place is temporarily closed. It’s not the only shutdown in Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Several large dim sum eateries here also closed their doors because of the coronavirus.

“The main reason they are closing at this moment temporarily is because they are just lacking the customers. People are simply refusing to come out to eat because of the virus,” said Paul Mak, president of the Brooklyn Chinese American Association.

Golden Imperial Palace is still open but probably not for long. It can seat up to 500 people but its owner says it’s only seeing about a dozen customers a day. He predicts the restaurant will stop serving meals by next week. And it’s not just the big Chinese restaurants; the gates are down at this Malaysian spot with a posted notice saying it won’t reopen until May. A beauty salon on the same block is also shuttered.

“Businesses that are service-related I think they are all being impacted and therefore we’re seeing a lot more closings,” said Mak.

Businesses here have been suffering for weeks because of apprehension over the virus’ origin in Wuhan, China.

But the pain has been increasing. The president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Randy Peers says the coronavirus has begun hurting businesses beyond Chinatown from major hotels to mom-and-pop shops.

“Small businesses themselves are probably going to face a disproportionate impact regardless right because they don’t have the capacity to telecommute. They don’t have the capacity to just close operations. So we’re very concerned,” said Randy Peers.

Peers announced the creation of a small business impact task force that will closely monitor the ten sectors of the borough’s economy to see how they’re faring during this public health crisis.

“We’re going to track that information in real time so that we could use the data to inform our policy makers and our legislators about what’s happening on the ground,” said Peers.

That information will then be used to figure out how best to support businesses that are taking a coronavirus hit.

Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Manhattan