Coronavirus Impact: San Francisco businesses reduce hours, layoff workers amid COVID-19 outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Local businesses are feeling the impact of Covid-19, especially local hotels and restaurants. Foot traffic was noticeably lighter in Union Square Thursday.

With so many conventions cancelled, hotel occupancy is way down and all of the businesses surrounding the hotels are feeling it as well.

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At capacity, Hotel G near San Francisco's Union Square can have anywhere from 300 to 500 guests. The hotel is currently at 30% occupancy.

"We would normally be in the 80 percentile range," said General Manager Steve Rizzo.

When asked how much of that is connected to coronavirus, Rizzo said, "Probably all of it."

Rizzo says the hotel has just under 50 employees.

"As those occupency levels change it's going to dictate how many people will be able to work," said Rizzo.

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Kevin Carroll is President and CEO of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. He says the greatest impact will be on employees.

"They're doing different types of things whether it's letting people take vacation time or work schedules but there are hotels that have started laying people off as well," said Carroll.

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Restaurants are suffering too. Pacific Heights Taco Bar owner Jack Schwartz says he's seen a drastic reduction in business.

"Foot traffic is not what it usually is," said Schwartz.

He's adjusting employees' schedules to account for the decline.

"We have cut down on hours definitely," Schwartz explained.

"San Francisco's economy is going to be significantly impacted," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
From lost conventions, empty restaurants and lost hotel tax revenue according to Mayor Breed.

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The city is considering options to put cash in the hands of small business owners.

"We're trying to set up a fund to do just that and allow the private sector to contribute to that fund so that people can have immediate access to get money so that if they need to cover some expenses they're able to do so," said the Mayor.

Mayor Breed says officials are also exploring a moratorium on evictions.

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