'Can't take anymore': Sonoma County business owners brace for new stay-at-home order

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Friday, December 4, 2020
Sonoma Co. store owners brace for new stay-at-home order
By its very nature, California's upcoming COVID-19 stay-at-home orders impact small businesses, even if they can keep their doors open.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Farmer's Lane Plaza in Santa Rosa is a more suburban version of Main Street USA where businesses plant themselves and try to grow.

That American dream in California became a bit more difficult today, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom and COVID-19. With only 3.7% of intensive care beds still available, they're likely to deal with the consequences of his stay-at-home orders.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces new, regional stay-at-home order in California

"I am very frustrated," said Rachel Sandoval of Salon Twelve. In the past year, she has endured multiple electrical shut downs, fire scares, and almost five months of being closed because of COVID-19 restrictions. Today, she learned that Governor Gavin Newsom is likely to end her year by imposing weeks more of them.

"Does the governor have credibility with you?" we asked.

"No, he lost that quite a while ago. I think he's a little bit of a hypocrite," she answered.

By its very nature, California's upcoming stay-at-home orders impact small businesses, even if they can keep their doors open. With more people staying in, the measures will hurt everyone from the restaurant getting by with takeouts, to the gym building a tent for exercise outside.

"So these are the guys just finishing up what I told them to build," said Lawrence Phillips, aka Coach LP. He owns a gym in the shopping center, and is putting an awning outside.

He has few other choices. Enrollment has dropped to 50 members. This is a business hanging on. "As long as they say we can do outside training we'll be fine," Phillips said.

RELATED: Here's what will close under a stay-at-home order in the Bay Area

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new stay-at-home restrictions are on the way as the coronavirus spreads out of control in California, threatening to overload hospital and intensive care capacity.

"If not, how much would that hurt?"

"A lot, a lot."

Retail stores will be dealing with COVID-19 issues more directly. Hardisty's Homewares is an institution. The state will limit retail stores to 20% capacity. That's manageable at Hardesty's, but the health of a mall depends on the strength of all its businesses, especially at Christmas.

"There are so many businesses that can't take anymore," said Steve Good, the owner. "This is the bread and butter time of year. Make it or break it."

Now add a pandemic to the mix.

And shut downs. Again.

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