Many business owners are understandably upset by the restrictions imposed on them since the start of pandemic, and further restrictions brought on by San Diego County's recent fall to the Purple Tier aren't making things any easier.
A group of small business owners, led by with San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Jim Desmond, rallied Monday in protest of the pandemic-related rules.
Luckily for some small business owners, they've been able to make operational adjustments and still survive despite the restrictions.
“Because we’re by the beach, and it's gorgeous outside, sitting outside and taking it (food) to go is popular out here anyway,” said Brenda Hicks, owner of Linda’s Yogurt and Deli in Carlsbad. She had to move operations outdoors Saturday after the latest Purple Tier restrictions kicked in. “If it rains or it gets cold, then it’s going to be a crunch.”
A manager at Norte Mexican Food restaurant a few doors down from Hicks said it would be nice to reopen indoor dining, but they want to follow the county and state’s guidance. For now, that means serving guests outdoors only.
“As long as the weather is nice, people like to sit outside,” said Delfino Tino Martinez, a manager at Norte. “When the weather is bad, we’re missing a lot of people because they want to be comfortable inside where it’s nice and warm.”
Martinez said they have more than 30 tables inside available to accommodate guests, but unfortunately can’t make use of them while the county is in the Purple Tier.
Hicks said Desmond’s push to reopen businesses is a tough call to make.
“I do think it’s a tough call. And I would hate to be the one in that position because you want to protect everyone’s health of course, but you do understand that businesses are suffering, and people are actually losing their businesses,” said Hicks. She said she’d rather operate outdoors if it helps slow the spread of the virus.
“That would be devastating to a person to know that someone contracted it (the virus) at your establishment so that wouldn’t be good for business or for your own conscience,” said Hicks.
Hicks and Martinez said they hope to see COVID-19 cases decrease soon.
“We’re doing our best to follow the guidelines and keep people safe,” said Martinez.
“I hope in three weeks the numbers go down and we open back up,” said Hicks.