San Mateo Daily Journal – Small Businesses Struggling to Stay Open

Still open for business

Businesses, battered by coronavirus, look to better days

Her small business has been shut down since shelter-in-place orders began March 17 in the Bay Area. She paid the $1,710 in office rent. But a county property tax bill of about $4,000 looms.

Consider small business owners whose income has gone down to zero because of the coronavirus, asked the woman during public comment at Monday’s meeting of the Redwood City Council.

Her voicemail says she’s looking forward to taking care of customers after April 7, when the San Mateo County stay-at-home order ends — unless extended past that date.

Members of the Redwood City Council heard about measures the municipality is taking during the crisis — and Alin Lancaster of the city staff recount the Bay Area shelter-in-place order that was followed two days later by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide measure.

Many restaurants are offering take-out orders during the shutdown. Angelica Solorzano, part owner of the Main Street restaurant that bears her name, said the Redwood City site won’t stay open for take-out food.

“We tried to do a lot of media but it just didn’t take off,” Solorzano said.

The restaurant only took in about $300 last week, she said.

Tiffani Viviani bought a hair salon on Laurel Street in San Carlos March 1 and spoke about the statewide shelter-in-place order that affects her and 12 people at the site who can’t perform their craft.

Amy Buckmaster, president and CEO of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, cited the San Mateo County Strong Fund that the Board of Supervisors launched with a $3 million donation. The fund will assist individuals, families, nonprofits and small businesses here.

“That’s going to be instrumental,” Buckmaster said.

“We’re going to be there for our small businesses,” she said. “We just can’t forget anybody and I don’t think we are.”

“I don’t know how long this is going to last,” Viviani said.

Everybody in business is going through the same situation, added Viviani, who said people are coming together as a community.

“We’re helping each other with everything,” she said.

Rick Juncker, owner of Erik’s DeliCafe on Walnut Street in Redwood City, wants to see what happens with shelter-in-place orders.

“Like everybody, we’re just trying to figure it out,” Juncker said.

Erik Johnson, founder of the delicafe that has more than 25 locations in Northern California, said in a message on the company’s website that, “From the Loma Prieta earthquake to the coronavirus outbreak that impacts us all today, we continue to adapt to the evolving situation.”

Redwood City chamber executive Buckmaster said the group, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, or SAMCEDA, and others are assisting businesses and the public during the crisis.

“We are going to be messengers of hope,” she said.

“Now is the time when we all rise and help each other,” said Buckmaster.

Original Article – San Mateo Daily Journal