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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Asian American Businesses: The Impacts of Anti-Asian Racism, 2021

  • Author(s): Ong, Paul;
  • Cheng, Alycia;
  • Ong, Jonathan
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous economic and social impacts. The pandemic also created social problems, particularly the rise of anti-Asian hate. Restaurants and shops in Chinatown were among the first to feel the effects, with owners witnessing a decline as early as February 2020. The origins of the pandemic and anti-Asian racism were very much centered around false beliefs that Chinese American businesses, particularly those in Chinatowns, were a source for the spread of the disease. Given continuing anti-Asian incidents, it is critically important that we have effective strategies and policies to ensure that Asian American businesses are safe places.

This brief is organized into three parts: (1) Prevalence, Causes and Nature of Anti-Asian Racism; (2) Commonalities Among Impacted Asian American Businesses; and (3) Intersection with Personal and Family Anti-Asian Impacts. The brief also includes a preliminary analysis of findings from the ABA Pandemic Survey conducted by the Asian Business Association of Los Angeles, and the findings were published in collaboration with UCLA CNK and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. A report with policy recommendations is forthcoming.

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