Coronavirus Impact: Economic chain of pain as Solano, Napa county businesses ask Governor Newsom for permission to reopen

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Two more Northern California Counties have asked Governor Gavin Newsom for permission for a Phase 2 reopening amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Business owners from Solano and Napa counties have been proactive about going back to work.

In Napa on Friday, two more small businesses closed their doors for good due mostly to COVID-19 restrictions.

Locals feel strongly that the peace and quiet of inactivity has become unnerving. "Talk about flattening the curve, I think it's just a flat line," said Tom Davies of V.Sattui Winery in St. Helena.

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They see roughly 200,000 people a year. In the past six weeks? About 100. When discussing the damage from this COVID-19 closure, he can rattle off an economic chain of pain. "We should have had a wedding tonight. There are florists involved, hotels involved, caterers involved. All of that has come to a complete halt," said Davies.

Napa Board of Supervisors Chair Diane Dillon signed the 20 page document. She worries about revenue for the county, and shortfalls if businesses remain closed. "In the county's budget, we are looking at 10 and 20 million dollars. Towns are similarly affected," she said.

Small business owners are affected, too. "It is a continued over-reaction," said restaurant owner Terry Letson, who owns the Fume Bistro and Bar. Last week, out of frustration, he opened for business and seated customers inside before the county shut him down. It was an act of principle borne from desperation. "I've been doing this a long time, but how deep is the hole? The hole is deep," he said.

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We found the frustrations in downtown Napa. One week after the so-called soft opening, stores and businesses remain closed, but hopeful.

At Calamity Jane's Boutique, Cathryn Becker has joined forces with other merchants by selling online. But that can't replace customers. She spent Friday waiting for news from the state. "I am hopeful that they listen and give us more than we've gotten," she said.

"What do you have right now?" we asked.

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"Nothing," she said.

So when might Napa County hear from the state? Supervisor Dillon was hoping it might be Friday or Monday.

But what if they are turned down?

"Then we will apply again," she said.

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