Locals spread love by supporting Asian American businesses

Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 11:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Members of a local group are putting their money where their mouth is once again. Many showed support towards Asian American-owned businesses in a recent thread on Keep Local Alive Tucson.

“I want to thank all [of our] customers that came to support us until today,” said Ann Yohn, who owns Char’s Thai Restaurant.

The mom-and-pop shop on 5th Street and Rosemont Boulevard opened its doors 30 years ago. Ann started as a part-time employee 20 years ago and worked her way up until she eventually took over the establishment.

This past year has been the most challenging for the small business. The pandemic not only impacted revenue, acts of hate against Asian American’s also climbed in the U.S. A recent killing spree in Atlanta left eight people dead; six of whom were of Asian descent, and shook communities across the country. Authorities are still investigating the motive.

“To see what happened in Atlanta, to know that that was someone else’s mother that was taken from them … it really worries me because running a business like this, I don’t want to have to worry about my mother,” said Erik Yohn, an employee at Char’s Thai. “It really is another sort of virus that has infected America; racism and hate.”

It’s why the Yohn’s found this post so touching:

Post pushes to support Asian American businesses
Post pushes to support Asian American businesses(Keep Local Alive Tucson)


“I think it’s amazing that people would come out and support us,” Erik said.

Char’s Thai was the first mentioned on the post. Miss Saigon, Ha Long Bay and Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen are a few other businesses named in the growing list.

“There is a family behind the business, there are people working at that business,” said Bobby Johnson, who co-founded Keep Local Alive. “When we can show that love and support from the community, you talk about that morale booster! That gives them that energy to keep going.”

Which is exactly what the Yohn’s plan to do; serve the community for years to come. The Yohn’s say they also buy local as much as possible and hope others see an increase in customers with this latest push. They’re humbled by the endorsement of their business.

“I wanted to say thank you again!” Ann said.

Keep Local Alive seeks to help all local independently-owned businesses thrive. The group has grown to more than 10,000 members (the second largest in the nation). There are now 75 Keep Local Alive groups in the U.S.

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