Small Business Owners Not Happy with State's Reopening Guidelines

Some small business owners and employees in San Diego County held a news conference Monday to push for looser reopening guidelines than the ones announced by Gov. Newsom Friday.

“We were really hopeful, then once we actually got this new color-coding system, it’s the same as nothing really to a lot of small businesses,” said Angie Weber, co-owner of Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop in the East Village. “25 percent for a lot of restaurants is not enough to operate with.”

Under the latest guidelines, restaurants can offer dine-in service at only 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Weber says she could not provide outdoor dining and spent a lot of money to prepare her restaurant for safe, dine-in services.

“Everybody behind me is suffering because of this. I can’t pay my rent with 25 percent,” said Thomas Hall, General Manager for The Grass Skirt. “When my staff was told they had to leave and I didn’t know when we were going to hire them back, it completely broke my heart.”

While some say the capacity limitations make it difficult for businesses to recover after operating at a loss, others say their industries have been entirely left out of any reopening plans.

“I own a small event business called McFarlane Promotions. We shut down all our business and events on March 15,” said Laurel McFarlane, a small business owner and the founder of San Diego Event Coalition.

“We let go of staff, we took out a second mortgage on our house, borrowed from friends and families if we could. We scrambled to make financially for the last six months, only to find out last Friday that we have been completely disregarded and undermined. The event industry wasn’t even listed.”

(Photo credit Getty images)

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