Amid Coronavirus Fears, Boston Officials Support Chinatown Small Businesses

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Asian business leaders and city officials held a public brunch on Saturday at a restaurant in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood to assure the public that there is no risk of contracting the coronavirus in the area.

Despite the Lunar New Year, which typically attracts crowds to Chinatown, many restaurants are struggling to attract customers amid fears of the spread of coronavirus.

More than 1,300 deaths have been reported globally due to the outbreak of the virus, which originated in China.

While there have been no reported cases in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood, business owners say they've seen a sharp decline in people frequenting area restaurants.

The meeting took place at China Pearl Restaurant on Tyler Street.

"There's no more risk of coming into contact with coronavirus in Chinatown than in any other community of the state," said Boston city councilor Michelle Wu ahead of the meeting.

"What feels like it's personal caution then turns into misinformation and discrimination [and] quickly turns ripples into economic impact for a whole community," Wu said.

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