SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — California Governor Gavin Newsom and several Bay Area counties have put millions of residents under lockdown as hospitals across the state are filling up fast and COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
In San Jose, local businesses are forced to pivot once more to adhere to the new restrictions.
“We spent a lot of money on the infrastructure for outdoor dining, with the weather changing we thought it was important to buy heaters, coverings for our patio and it’s pretty disappointing that now we’re unable to utilize those,” said Sammy G’s owner Sam Ghadiri.
“I think we’re just going to have to pivot again and go back to just doing to-go’s and takeout,” Ghadiri added.
Since March, the pizzeria has made numerous changes to adhere to the county and city COVID-19 restrictions to remain open.
But with the new stay-at-home orders, it has been forced to make more tough decisions.
“Over here at Sammy G’s we’re a family and part of my job as the owner is making sure that my staff is well taken care of and we’ve had to do cuts in hours, we’ve had to lay people off and it’s been very very difficult, it’s hard conversation to have but necessary in order for the business to survive,” said Ghadiri.
“When the pandemic started most of our businesses were from San Jose State staying open and the loss of the students really hurt us,” Ghadiri added.
“And losing March, April, and May hurt us and we didn’t even know if we were going to make it through June, July, and August until we were hoping in September everything opens back up, so it’s been difficult.”
Fortunately, the pizzeria has remained open by offering takeout orders and has since stepped in to help its community by participating in the Great Plates Program — which aims to help deliver meals to community members who are 65 or older or at high risk of getting coronavirus.
But for other businesses, there has been little help.
“Obviously we respect and acknowledge the fact that they’re making these decisions out of the best for everyone in anticipation that this doesn’t last for a lot longer but it’s difficult,” said April Seo, general manager at SP2 Communal Bar and Restaurant.
“Other than that there’s really no support coming from them and they’re shutting businesses down,” Seo added. “And we are a small business, we are family owned, so we don’t have the luxury of having lots of backing.”
With the new shelter-in-place orders, SP2 Communal Bar and Restaurant has also been forced to make tough decisions, having to furlough all of their hourly employees to be able to keep the business running.
“Luckily we were able to keep on some of our staff, obviously we wanted to bring on as many people as we could and support as many people as we could but that was just not feasible,” said Seo. “When there’s always more and more bad news it’s definitely difficult to try and be optimistic.”
For more information on businesses closures and new restrictions under the statewide regional stay-at-home order, click here.
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