A representative from an association of catering professionals said on Wednesday that an initial wave of restaurant closures has started, as a result of the ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong affecting the revenue of these establishments.
The first vice-chairman of the Institution of Dining Art, Henry Ma, said around a hundred restaurants have closed over the past month, putting around 2,000 people out of work.
He said many in the industry have already started laying off part-time staff, and have requested some full-time workers to take leave, in order to help cut costs.
Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Retail Management Association said she expects sales figures for the golden week national day holiday to be significantly worse than the same period last year.
Annie Yau Tse said although some small-scale shopping malls have started reducing rents, bigger ones are still standing firm.
Yau Tse said she hoped the government would persuade all the big landlords to offer reductions in rent to help businesses.
She told RTHK's Janice Wong the the situation is worse than during the Sars period in 2003.
"The most serious drop is actually on the jewellery, watches and on those luxurious products. That trend is going along through September and then into October. In October, it's even worse, because during the golden week there are a lot of closures in shopping malls and shops on the street," she said.
"In the Sars period, we know that it's going to be confined in a period of time. But here right now, we don't know where the exit will be," she said.