Asian Americans facing slower economic recovery

Kyra Phillips reports on the sluggish return to work for many Asian Americans, and the unique hurdles that Asian American-owned businesses are facing amid the pandemic.
6:38 | 09/11/20

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Transcript for Asian Americans facing slower economic recovery
We've reported on how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color in this country specially among black and Hispanic Americans but. Asian Americans traditionally considered more economically secure than other minority groups. Have taken a huge hit since the pandemic hit American shores so this is cure Phillips about to examine what's behind it economic fallout for Asian Americans. As part of our monthlong network wind series turning point. Examining the so called racial reckoning now sweeping the nation's. Jefferson lead defines the American dream this son of Chinese immigrants his parents worked hard. To build this butcher shop in New York city's Chinatown but now this Coast Guard reservists is coming back home. To help the family business survive a bit of global pandemic that's been killing Asian American owned businesses. Her district and Bryant. Les parents speak little English and came to he US solely to provide a better life for their children. But this pandemic has hurt first generation immigrants and their businesses in ways like never before. As parents they always tell us you know we're doing it today you don't have to do it you can get a better job. You can have a better future. And while Asian families like the least continued to barely hanging on. The president continuing to tout positive trends for a job numbers that she preferably see the numbers are. Terrific but not for many minorities they remained the hardest hit economically. And for Asian Americans as a whole. Their jobless rate has spiked to record levels. It's a drastic change from before the pandemic. When Asian Americans had the lowest unemployment across the board at just 2.5 percent. Fast forward to now where Asian American unemployment stands at ten point 7%. With only black Americans at a higher rate. And what critics call racist rhetoric from the White House likely hasn't helped. So important developments in a war against the Chinese virus we continue to make progress in our fight against each other virus. The backlash over the origin of the corona virus making a recovery for Asian owned businesses like the least. Nearly impossible. National leadership votes referring to it as the Chinese virus would return of virus when. And of course. We'll that kind of mean. And its own. And the people that live and work you do get associated with it. Now a new report revealing just how detrimental the rhetoric and lack of recovery has ban on the Asian American community. Our data suggest that if Americans are hampered across entire country whether it's on the East Coast the West Coast last Harrison line is one of the authors of that report. A partner at the consulting firm McKinsey. That has been researching and analyzing the statistics. Around the impact of Kobe in nineteen I'm Asian Americans will be looked at the Dina. There has been outsize impact on this community. Families like the lees are just one of nearly two million Asian Americans small businesses across the country. Then employed more than three and a half million people. But many of them still struggling to access financial relief our analysis. Suggests about 75% or. Three quarters of these businesses. Are not eligible due to lack of relationship with financial services and institutions. On top of that the language barrier the Small Business Administration web site doesn't have options for Asian languages. And as for the federal government's PPP or paycheck protection program. Its website only has documents in some Asian languages bottom line no communication. No cash. Those struggles not isolated to financial relief. We have heard that people feel like the Asian American community has largely been ignored in the coal bed public health response. Specifically that there are not linguistically and culturally appropriate material. Or an off ethnic media outreach to really help the community understands. What are the prevention measures that eat eat a can. Add to what are some of that you need considerations. That might be acting and Asian American. Asian Americans are also over represented in jobs considered to be essential. The same job market hit hardest by the coded nineteen pandemic dose and food services industry. Restaurants. Laundromat. As we also wants these jobs right now she conceived within. Chinatown here has been tremendously and. And that impacts all of us Asian American businesses represent more than 25%. Of food and accommodation services' like restaurants and hotels. More than 15% of retail. And nearly 13%. Of all health care businesses. Many of us are both care workers and what happens is that via schools still believe the acquired infections and leaving its home. So our families are very vulnerable family members. Fear also a factor for many Asian American businesses. Just ask Irene sukur got a Simeone in her gift shop in Los Angeles California's little Tokyo was able to access federal relief. But she was apprehensive about reopening her business so soon. There are so many unknowns. But the customers were as well you know that they also are not a 100% sure how safe it is to be out in about. And those who have security aid. Say those funds are just barely enough to keep their businesses afloat. In many cases they're still losing money but their their only. Making the loss smaller by working harder and harder. That's a hard thing to do you have to work hard and you're still losing money. So what now well for many of these families they have no choice but to fight to make ends meet. Their legacies and heritage trapped in the brick and mortar of businesses they built from scratch. And for children of immigrant parents like Jefferson leak. Who refuses to give up on his American dream. I'm hopeful you know I didn't I guess on the on lihir song here. Trying to make it work a.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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