Chinese Hand Laundry Shuts Down After 60 Years- Due to Covid-19 Crisis !!
Laundry Store Closed Forever
Sun’s Chinese Hand Laundry Shuts Down after 60 years due to this COVID pandemic situation. The small laundry store and dry-cleaning service provider is located on East 14th Street in Stuyvesant Town. It had a vintage red signboard written “Hand Laundry” on it, and also it has been serving the town since 1959.
In 1959, Robert Lee, the laundry’s current owner, opened the store along with his father. In the 1930s, his father immigrated from China and had a laundry in Boston.
Reasons For Closure
Lee decided to close Sun’s laundry business as the business has slowed down in recent years. His nephew, Robert Gee, said that the pandemic situation followed the decision. Lee, 84, and his wife, Wai Hing Lee, 76, who worked with him, said that such business has significant risks during this situation. So, they closed the shop in the middle of March and opened the shop on August 1 to let the customers pick up their left clothes. From August 29, they shut it down permanently.
The Lee couple also mentions that they have two children who have helped their business. But they are now busy in their profession and have no plans to take up the family business.
Nephew, Robert Gee, Adds Comment
“With stay-at-home, there’s no need for work clothes. And even earlier than that, the rise of business-casual attire in the workplace has had an impact on the Chinese laundry business because there are less dry cleaning and less pressed blouses needed for work,” Gee said.
As per the latest estimation in New York, approximately one-third of the small business have been shut down for this pandemic situation. The immigrants are the primary sufferers in such a condition.
Gee comments on the closure of the family business. He says, “We’re very, very fortunate as a family. I’m the youngest of six, and each of us has done very well for ourselves in our respective careers. We’re very appreciative of the laundromat or Chinese hand laundry business because it supported thousands of families to get them through the tough times.”
Gee says he’s grateful he was able to have a white-collar career. But, “You gotta pay homage to what [the laundry business has] done to help Chinese immigrants over the years and help them acclimate to life in the United States.”