Coronavirus: San Francisco business owners help locals in need during COVID-19 crisis

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020
SF business owners help locals in need during COVID-19 crisis
San Francisco business owners are helping out the locals in need during the COVID-19 crisis, while the businesses themselves are experiencing major financial losses.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You pivot to survive. That's the mentality that many business owners are having during this crisis.

"I have worked really hard and this is our 13 year and I have a great team and I figure that if we stopped it was going to be really hard to bring everybody back," said Adriana Lopez-Vermut, owner of Pica Pica Restaurant.

Lopez-Vermut and Sharky Laguna don't know each other, but this pandemic has made them more similar than ever.

"If we're going to go down, we're going to go down swinging against the virus," said Laguna.

In the van rental business, Laguna, the owner of Bandago, had to laid off 40 of his employees and now is gearing up to slim his businesses even more.

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During this crisis Bandago is lending his vans to nonprofits during this pandemic.

"Homeless organization- they're going to need vehicles to transport homeless people and they want to maintain a safe distance between the driver and the folks they're transporting," said Laguna.

Lopez-Vermut is using her restaurant Pica Pica to feed the most vulnerable by delivering meals to shelters and low income organizations.

Last week Pica Pica delivered over 1,000 meals.

Today during today's press conference, Mayor London Breed said the city is making resources available to help sustain workers and businesses during this time.

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"A fund to provide a million dollars in grants right away. That money has of course quickly dried up and we also provided a delay in business taxes until 2021," said Mayor Breed.

For now business owners are hoping this wave of losses slows downs as they try to survive

"Moving forward how do you think your business is going to come out of this? I don't know," said Lopez-Vermut.

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