By Danauca Dory
Some businesses in South Vancouver neighbourhoods are being hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the fears it has created.
Several businesses have said they’ve noticed a stark change in their customers coming into their stores.
The Voice canvassed Victoria Drive two weeks ago and found that some small businesses had seen a drop of 30-50 per cent in customers.
Jensu Su, owner of Flying Dragon Hair Design which has been on Victoria Drive for five years said he had seen a 50 per cent drop in business.
“There’s no money,” he said.
Meanwhile Vivian Zheng, manager of Happy Sushi had seen a 30 per cent drop in customers, while the owner of Mei Yee Bakery on Victoria Drive said that business is down 30-40 per cent.
However, some businesses were seeing an increase in sales as people flocked to stock up on essentials.
Initially, Chong Lee Market on Victoria Drive had seen an increase in the sale of rice and noodles. However, as of now, sales of all food necessities had spiked.
Chong Lee Market manager Helen Nguyen said, “people are getting more of everything in terms of their basic necessities, so in addition to rice and instant noodles, it’s meat and everything they need to make their dinners.”
Mia Zhu, owner of Xing Fa Hang Trading Ltd, said sales of soups and the other food products that customers normally buy, were up 10 per cent.
However, Pasey Nee, a customer at Xing Fa Hang Trading Ltd who had finished her shopping there, said she is not stockpiling food. She is just purchasing what she would normally be buying.
As of March 17, 3 p.m. PDT, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control, British Columbia had 186 confirmed cases of COVID-19, seven deaths and five recoveries.