The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has taken a big toll on all business in the Puget Sound region. Many companies that have an Eastside presence including Microsoft, Amazon, Google and others have encouraged their employees to work from home during the virus’ outbreak. This has had downstream impacts to the local businesses that surround these employment centers.

Businesses such as restaurants and other hospitality companies expect to see fewer customers given the lack of surrounding foot traffic. This also results in hospitality companies not needing as many shift employees, limiting the hours available for workers.

A non-profit luncheon that was scheduled for March 17 to benefit Bellevue LifeSpring was canceled on Thursday as a result of the local public health situation. Jennifer Fischer, their executive director, issued the following statement,  “We anticipate an increased need for our services as this situation develops. If schools are closed, children will not have access to breakfast and lunch at school. Parents who are unable to work in order to care for their children will have difficulty paying rent due to lost wages. These families will be at risk of homelessness.”

We spoke with Ann Perinchief, Owner of Whisk, an independent retailer with kitchenware, as well as a venue for cooking classes. “Classes are running as usual, and people are asking if we’re still running. The impact is bringing a hit on private events that people travel in for.”

We spoke with many restaurant owners over the last week and all of their businesses have been disrupted by the inconsistent foot traffic. Some downtown Bellevue restaurants are seeing up to 50% less business as a result. With public concerns, and employees working from home, local businesses and organizations may continue to be impacted.

Individuals in the service industry cannot do their jobs from home and many rely on tips. Having said this, there are still ways to support local businesses and organizations through this uncertain time.

We spoke with Elaina Herber, President of Ascend Hospitality Group who runs Lincoln South Food Hall and Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi about how the community could continue to support the restaurant industry. “We are being hyper vigilant in regards to our frequency of disinfecting. We always sanitize our spaces after every guest. Additionally, if customers aren’t coming in to dine, we have options for them to take-out, order via restaurant ordering apps, or order from catering options.”

Hospitality companies aren’t the only organizations impacted, nonprofits need continued support as well.

“Our luncheon goal was to raise $400,000. So far, we have $150,000 committed from generous supporters. Now, more than ever, I am asking for your support to close this gap,” said Jennifer Fischer of Bellevue LifeSpring.

During this unpredictable time we encourage the community to support local organizations and businesses with their generosity and compassion.


  1. Elaina Herber, President of Ascend Hospitality Group, said, “Our restaurants have never been cleaner. We always sanitize our spaces after every guest…”

    Their business would be better if we could believe them. Anyone remember that massive norovirus outbreak from Lincoln’s Maggianos and McCormicks five years ago?

  2. I understand we all have the right to voice our opinion but do you really feel like you’re providing value to this article Tony?

  3. The Teller of Truths

    The richest city in the STATE is crying because Asians and Indians are too scared to go out to eat and spend their Microsoft money. I’ve seen your practices firsthand. The less of you on the streets the better. You don’t wash your hands after you leave the restrooms, then you touch all kinds of things, shake hands, touch menus, exchange monies etc etc. Well, last time I checked this virus originated in CHINA. A little common sense and thinking tells you that for a virus to spread cross continents means people are not practicing proper hygiene in their daily lives. Not saying these two nations are the only ones who do this because I see even far worse practices within other communities, however let’s be real, they are the majority in this city. Even you so-called whites are outnumbered in many respects. Thank God you Asians and East Indian Punjabi’s aren’t cooking MY food. I guess if facts make you racist, I’m racist. Which I’m not. Prejudice?. Yeah. Racist? No. If anything Bellevue is the most racist city I’ve ever lived in. You’ve got Asians acting as if they are superior to all groups and ethnicities. Same with Punjabi’s. You think because you have money in America, that makes you better than those around you. Let me remind you of how shitty is as a country as far as poverty is concerned. Not only that! Your kind still practice the caste system where the darker skinned are abhorred against the more European looking lighter skinned Punjabi’s. You separate by culture, dialect, and many other things. Then you come to America with your ass backwards thinking and think that shit is acceptable here, and you see how these ignorant Euro-Americans AkA “white” people, operate in their day to day lives as if they are SUPERIOR to every race under the sun, and you begin to get the notion that YOU can do the same as they do because you speak English and you came from another country and you went to school and now you are a doctor or engineer or do whatever the hell you do at Microsoft, and thus you now have large amounts of money that you can be just as snobbish as these European Americans. No. You can not. And should not. But it doesn’t surprise me that these are your practices. Because Gandhi was a racist son of a bitch as well. So. In conclusion. Be nice. You are in America. That doesn’t mean you can do and act however you want. All should be treated with kindness and respect until proven to be treated otherwise. Leave your dirty practices in your home countries. This isn’t India and this sure as hell isn’t China or Korea or Japan. And you European Americans need not boast. As I said before, you have disgusting practices of hygiene. Or lack thereof. You also believe you are superior above all. You’re not. Despite your current global position. Which btw is changing.

  4. The Norovirus outbreak was caused by guests. Not one of the workers from the restaurants ever got sick. I know in Maggianos specifically that everyone that got sick where all from a private event. And no one outside of that event was infected. So maybe before you go around making statements like that, you should be a bit more informed than just the headline from the 5:00 news.