Bay Area business owners say they'd be upset over a TikTok ban. Here's how it would impact them

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024
How a TikTok ban would negatively impact Bay Area business owners
As lawmakers are threatening to ban TikTok due to security concerns, Bay Area business owners are speaking out about how they could be impacted.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- TikTok is now front and center in Washington D.C. where lawmakers are threatening to ban the social media platform due to security concerns.

"Would you be angry?" ABC7 News asked a small business owner.

"Yes I'd be upset, yes," said April Flores of San Jose.

RELATED: Here's what TikTok ban could mean for users, businesses ahead of Congress vote

Flores is firing back about the idea of a ban. She is starting a luxury portable restroom business with her husband called Black Tie Vanities and they plan to market on TikTok.

Flores made a TikTok video about Zeledons Bakery On Wheels in 2021 and it went viral.

"They got a lot more clients, people asking for them to come around, so I think it's really important that it helps us connect on a different level than we would normally be able to," said Flores.

VIDEO: Peninsula party store gets boosts from viral TikTok video after struggling this Halloween

Peninsula small business Diddams Party and Toy store gets boosts from viral TikTok video after struggling this Halloween.

Diddams Party and Toy in San Mateo came out of Halloween in the green while other businesses were down 20%. It happened after owner Steve Diddams' daughter made a heartfelt TikTok video asking people to buy Halloween costumes at the store.

"My daughter surprised me with a TikTok post that went viral and it really made our Halloween season," said Diddams. "We hired some more people, bought a bunch of new product."

Another viral video made by a daughter helped bring people back to Lee's Noodle House in Santa Rosa last year. That daughter Jennifer Le tells us people are still coming in.

Having a Chinese parent company, lawmakers are concerned that China will be able to collect US data from the TikTok platform. They're also concerned that China could direct misinformation through the platform, all of which could be used in cyberattacks.

Diddams says he's in the middle on this one, but that's because of his concern about the impacts that all platforms could have on teenage girls.

VIDEO: Daughter helps family restaurant in Santa Rosa with viral TikTok video

A daughter took to social media in hopes that a few people might come back to her family's restaurant, Lee's Noodle House, in Santa Rosa. Here's what happened after.

Flores says these lawmakers need to open their eyes to what a ban would mean.

"I really do think it's going to affect a lot of small businesses that are just trying to survive, make it these days, so absolutely it would upset us," says Flores.

"Banning TikTok is like banning alcohol during Prohibition. There are so many people who like it and use it that it seems like it's going to be a big deal," said Diddams.

The TikTok bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. It will now go to the Senate, and then the President. If passed it would basically give TikTok's parent Chinese company ByteDance about six months to sell their U.S. business.

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