MESA, AZ — Businesses in Mesa's Asian District were some of the first to feel the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and many still are.
Steve Diep manages Mekong Plaza, an indoor mall of Asian restaurants and shops on Dobson and Main in Mesa, and says businesses are barely holding on.
"The restaurants, they're struggling, you know, just to just to keep up with, with their expenses, just to keep just keep the doors open," he said.
He says even with reopening and safety measures in place people are staying away.
"You know, many people are still afraid. They don't want to take the risk of going out and being in public being around people," he said.
So he says his biggest concern, "is to get this, get this virus under control."
Diep believes that is the only way to get business back to normal. Until then he says the property is doing what it can to help tenants by deferring half the rent, and helping them apply for loans and grants.
"A lot of these small businesses are immigrants, you know, they're not born and raised in America. So you know, they wouldn't know where to find these resources," he said.
But with the virus numbers on the rise again, Diep says they need the government to do its part faster.
"To push out that stimulus package as soon as possible, because, you know, they're, they're running out of money. And I don't see no other way, but to, you know, kind of pump money into the system until this pandemic is over," he said.
His hope is for ongoing support for small businesses so everyone can focus on fighting the virus, instead of fighting for survival.
"Doing what we need to do to bring the numbers down and, you know, get things back to normal as soon as possible," he said.