San Diego

Coronavirus Outbreak Hurts Businesses Relying on Chinese Imports

Hai Trinh, owner of Santa’s Warehouse is worried that he won't have any new products to sell to customers

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While the coronavirus has people concerned about their well-being, local businesses that rely on getting their goods from China are starting to worry about the health of their income.

For 30 years, Santa's Warehouse in Chula Vista has been selling toys, party decorations and Christmas arrangements to customers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Most of our stuff comes from China, and importers that we get are from China," Hai Trinh, owner of Santa’s Warehouse said.

But it's not just Christmas Trinh is preparing for, he has a busier holiday to worry about--Valentine’s Day.

But Trinh is worried that he won't have any new products to sell to customers.

"After the Chinese celebration is off, they're [factories] supposed to go back to work already but because of the coronavirus they have shut down production and because of that a lot of people are being affected by not getting their merchandise," Trinh said.

Trinh explained that when he would place his order, he would receive it within the week, but now when he places an order, they keep extending the delivery date because they don’t know when they’ll have employees come back to work to be able to process the shipment.

Wholesale importers have sent businesses letters saying in part:

“With the advent of the coronavirus delaying workers coming back to the factories to start production, it is extremely important that you place any Christmas orders before the February 21st deadline.”

Trinh anticipates his sales could drop around 50% in the coming weeks and says all they can do is try to be prepared for the loss of business as they wait for this to play out.

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