HONG KONG (Reuters) – Tom Bennell’s olive oil distribution business took a heavy beating during months of pro-democracy protests that emptied Hong Kong hotels and restaurants, his major customers. Now he fears a knockout blow as the city fights the coronavirus.
The two-decade-old Olives and Oils supplies more than 20 five-star hotels, as well as clubs, delis and restaurants in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, where retail and tourism act like balance wheels for an economy running on trade and finance.
Business is so bad that Bennell has pulled his two teenage sons out of international school to cut costs. If things don’t turn around, he might be forced to leave the city that has been home since 1993.
“This is the straw that’s going to break the camel’s back. It’s horrific,” said the 46-year-old. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. It’s unbelievable.”
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