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Grants Will Support AsiaTown Businesses, Residents

The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced Friday May 15, 2020 it will provide grants to Asian Services in Action and MidTown Cleveland to support small businesses and immigrant and refugee populations.

The governor’s stay-at-home order in March affected almost all Ohio businesses financially, including Asian-owned businesses in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood, just east of downtown.

AsiaTown Project Manager Karis Tzeng of MidTown Cleveland said approximately 90 percent of the neighborhood’s restaurant business was from dine-in customers, so the businesses struggled to adjust to delivery or carry-out options.

Tzeng said businesses also suffered from discrimination well before the stay-at-home order went into effect.

“People starting to avoid the neighborhood, or avoid shopping or dining in the neighborhood because of this racism and because of the perception that people in the neighborhood might be more likely to spread the virus.”

The $20,000 grant to ASIA, Inc. will provide emergency food assistance, basic needs and small business support for immigrant and refugee populations in the organization’s service area.

The $30,000 grant to MidTown Cleveland will be used for buying bulk meals from AsiaTown restaurants, which will help support the businesses and provide meals for food insecure residents.

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