Bay Area small businesses hit their breaking point as Gov. Newsom issues new lockdown

ByKris Reyes KGO logo
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Small businesses hit breaking point as Newsom issues new lockdown
A San Jose plaza made up of 60 small businesses is bracing for the impact of another COVID-19 lockdown. Some fear, this time, they will have to close permanently.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Anger, frustration, heartbreak -- that's how small business owners are reacting to Governor Gavin Newsom's new orders. In one San Jose plaza, it's 60 small business tenants feeling the impacts.

So many stories, each one heartbreaking.

"I could lose everything, it would be sad because my family, we've been here for 32 years," said Christina Bui.

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She's already lost 80% of her business. The Governor's announcement dashed the little hope she still had left.

"This is the time that we were going to hopefully bounce back," she said.

This plaza is the perfect example of how hurting small businesses can cause endless ripples. For one insurance broker we talked to, those are his only clients.

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"Are you going to survive this new lockdown?" ABC7's Kris Reyes asked him.

"Well we're hoping to," said Nam Tram.

The plaza itself, in its worst months, only 30% of their tenants could pay rent. Now, even the non-essential offices in the building will have to shut down again.

"A lot of the tenants, they were just looking for a shoulder to cry on, they're just trying to put together a game plan," said Billy Ellerments, property manager for Lion Plaza.

Small businesses have been getting some loans, grants and funding but the organization that's been helping them throughout the pandemic says this time around that won't be enough.

RELATED: Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under Newsom's new 4-tier system

"By moving back to the purple tier, we strongly believe more businesses will be shuttered indefinitely. The back and forth from one tier to another is both frustrating and confusing," said Allie Lopez with Silicon Valley Small Business Development, in a statement to ABC7 News.

"It's just an absolute tragedy that this has to happen," said Ellermets.

Governor Newsom issued this promise at his press conference: "My top priority, moving into presentation of the January budget, is to support our small businesses."

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