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Monterey Park Businesses Struggling to Stay Open Since Mass Shooting

It has been nearly four months since a gunman opened fire at a Monterey Park dance studio, killing 11 and injuring nine others.

Since the tragedy, businesses in Monterey Park, especially those surrounding the studio, have struggled to stay open, and many have seen a sharp decline in customers.

Restaurants surrounding the dance studio where the shooting took place say it has been slow throughout the day. But as soon as it gets dark, people simply stop coming to the area.

Monterey Park is continuing to heal from the tragic shooting that ripped the community apart on January 21, when a gunman opened fire during a Lunar New Year celebration at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

During the first few weeks after the shooting, businesses say it was understandable to not see a lot of customers. In fact, some stayed closed.

But now that they’ve reopened, it’s difficult to stay afloat because there aren’t a lot of people returning to the area.

“I definitely feel people have had some worries about that, but we as a community are still trying to move forward from that. And while we still are keeping those that we lost close to our heart, we still want to continue on for them,” Maggie Luu said. 

Luu works at the Boiling Point Restaurant, directly across from the dance studio.  

She says it’s important for Monterey Park to keep moving forward, especially as a way to honor the eleven people who lost their lives.

“We’re still very welcoming and we would love to have people come in to eat even if they are a little bit worried, but I find that it’s pretty safe to still come to work, so people coming in would be great,” Luu said. 

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who represents Monterey Park in California’s 28th District, announced federal economic disaster assistance for small businesses impacted by the shooting. She has seen firsthand the economic hardship from the decreased traffic of customers. 

“We got to talk to each of the owners and they are struggling so much. The business has gone down. The Monterey Park community has not gone back to the way it was before in terms of going to dinner at night, walking down the street. I think people are so much more cautious,” Chu said.

Many in the area may be eligible for loans up to $2 million to help pay for fixed debts, payroll and other bills.

“People are taking steps to get back into the way life was before, but of course in regards to the victims’ families, we will never forget the shooting victims and we want to move on in this community and in their memory and celebrate the people that they were,” Chu said.

Businesses have until January of 2024 to apply for these small business loans.

Restaurants want people to know they are also open for takeout if people choose not to stay in the area but want to support their business.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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