San Diego (KGTV)- Many Asian American business owners continue to struggle during the pandemic. One North County teen is hoping to help by creating a website to support local restaurants.
“I was hearing a lot of stories about Asians in my community experiencing discrimination during the pandemic,” says Kaia Culotta.
The 17-year-old says, coming from a family of small business owners, she wanted to do something to help.
“I realized that there wasn’t an easily accessible, comprehensible list of Asian owned businesses in my community,” says Culotta. “So, I saw a need for that.”
For weeks Culotta learned how to code, through free programs online, to build a website. The “Help Asian Owned Businesses” site has an extensive list of restaurants located around the county.
Culotta says her project sparked the interest of San Diego Council Member Chris Cate. He even shared a video promoting the site on social media.
“It is awesome. It’s such a neat thing to be doing out of the goodness of her heart,” says Joe Kao, owner of R3fresh Juice Bar.
After seeing Cate’s video, the small business owner reached out to the teen to thank her for putting the site together.
He says his business, like many others, had fewer customers during the pandemic. “We definitely saw a drop in business, but we’ve stayed open.”
Kao applauds Culotta’s work and thanks her for thinking of the county’s small Asian business owners.