OAKLAND (KPIX) — City leaders in Oakland on Friday were urging people to shop and dine in Chinatown as part of a new campaign to support Asian-owned businesses.
Some mom-and-pop stores are reporting much slower foot traffic.READ MORE: UPDATE: Oakland Officer, Suspect Wounded In Shootout; Suspect Surrenders After Tense Standoff
“With the pandemic and the shutdown, business has already been slow. And now with the recent attacks, even less people are coming into Chinatown because they have a sense of feeling like, ‘Am I going to be next?'” said Tiffany Fang, who manages From the Heart Florist on Webster Street.
She said the volunteer citizen patrols restored some shopper confidence, but many customers are still avoiding the area.
“More feeling of safety, [then] definitely more people will come back,” said Fang.
“Improve safety, increase police patrols, then that will make people feel comfortable to shop in Chinatown and help the businesses,” said Chinatown business owner Kelly Li.READ MORE: Suspects Ordered To Stand Trial In 1996 Kristin Smart Disappearance
At the rally to kick off the “Support AAPI Businesses” campaign Friday morning, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce also announced that they are looking for donations to buy surveillance cameras to monitor sidewalks and intersections.
“Number one, it will deter crime. That’s the most important thing. And secondly, when a crime happens, we’re able to work with the police department,” said Chamber president Carl Chan.
“If it’s captured on video, if we can get photos, we can get that information out to the public and help us solve this crime,” said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.
The Chamber of Commerce hopes to have the cameras up and running in a few months.
“People who try to get away, they’ll try to get away a with car. So if they’re trying to speed off, we at least can know [the model of the car]. If we get a lucky shot, maybe we get a license plate,” said Fang.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Increases Water Reuse Requirements For New Buildings
The Chamber said about half of the Chinatown businesses already have surveillance cameras.