Chinatown businesses scramble to stay afloat amid latest shutdown

After 2 shutdowns, small businesses in Chinatown look for ways to stay afloat

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Shops and restaurants in Chinatown are boarding up their doors and windows trying to ride out the latest shutdown on Oahu.

Some have made the decision to stay open but are operating on a very limited scale and dealing with a wide array of new challenges.

Camille Heung opened Valia Honolulu on Bethel Street almost four years ago. She made the decision to close her retail shop back in March and moved all of her inventory out of her store.

Now, under a second county-wide stay-at-home order, she’s not sure whether or not she will open when the restrictions are set to be lifted on Thursday, Sept. 9.

“We will probably open by appointment only. Even before the second stay-at-home order, we had to keep the door locked,” said Heung.

She says the homeless problem in Chinatown seems to be getting worse as the streets are mostly empty during the day and filled with people who have no where else to go at night.

Heung and many other Chinatown business owners in her situation say that rent assistance is what is most needed from the city. They’re asking for some rent forgiveness versus deferment, which ultimately has to be paid back in the future.

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