In a typical year, Great NY Noodletown in Chinatown would be packed the day before Lunar New Year, but this is no normal year.

"We only doing like 40% of the business," said partner Stephen Li.

What You Need To Know

  • Many Lunar New Year parades and celebrations have been postponed, canceled or moved online because of the pandemic

  • Restaurants that would normally see a bump in revenue because of the holiday face another financial

  • Business leaders and restaurant owners encourage customers and patrons to support their businesses to help them stay afloat

With most Lunar New Year events canceled or moved online, the visitors that would usually give businesses a boost are being asked to stay away. Li says its contributing to the hardship.

"Everybody suffer, but we try to get through it," said Li.

Steven Tin of Better Chinatown USA says the annual parade has been postponed until further notice.

"With the pandemic, most people are staying home. Nobody's doing any outdoor events," said Tin, whose organization is hosting virtual performances to keep spirits up.

"We want to send a strong positive message to the community to celebrate, to be strong" said Tin.

Communities in Queens are also trying to remain resilient.  

"We traditionally have the Flushing Lunar New Year parade. It is the largest parade in Flushing," said John Choe, executive director of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce. "It's the time when 10,000 people from around the region come and shop and dine here. It's devastating for this community that we can't have in person events."

Choe says, around this time, restaurants can usually count on making up for any yearly losses. Establishments like Maxi Noodle are relying on catering and take-out orders to carry them through.

"Everybody's just trying to do what we can to drive business into town for Lunar New Year" said owner Maxi Lau.

But with indoor dining returning Friday many remain positive and encourage customers to pay their favorite restaurants a visit. It is the year of the ox after all and hopefully that's a sign for better days ahead.

"You know the ox is strong," said Tin. "Hopefully the ox will take us away from this evil, the COVID-19."