Small business owners, faith leaders push to further reopen economy in Santa Clara County

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Despite Santa Clara County being in the red tier, small business owners and faith leaders say county officials are holding them back from reopening indoors.

“Keeping parts of our economy shut down is not a solution,” Matthew Mahood said.

Matthew Mahood with the Silicon Valley Organization, led a conversation Monday, urging Santa Clara County officials to create a better pathway to further reopen the economy. 

“The state and county have two different goalposts on how to reopen the economy and businesses are caught in the crosshairs, suffering as a result,” Mahood said.

The organization paints a grim picture stating nearly 30 percent of small businesses in Silicon Valley have permanently closed or are on the verge of closing. 

San Jose City Councilmember Johnny Khamis says with no additional funds coming in to help prop up businesses, it’s time for the county to act.

“Government can’t be all about saying no because there’s no amount of gov run programs that will help unemployed stay in their homes,” Khamis said.

“Whenever I ask the county to clarify when esthetician services can reopen in a certain tier, I receive ‘we don’t know’ as an answer,” a participant said.

Those in the health and beauty sector, as well as faith organizations, are asking the county to consider a five-point plan towards reopening:

  • Allow business community to be apart of the discussion
  • Communicate clearly what business can do
  • Articulate safe reopenings infrastructure
  • Identify goals without moving the target
  • Consider providing funding for businesses

“We need to find ways to mitigate risk and safely live with the virus so small businesses and working core has a fighting chance to survive,” Mahood said.

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