“It’s bad," was the first thing Lucy Gonzalez said when asked about her business.
The long-time owner of the Antonio Tailor Shop in Chula Vista said she’s down 90% from before the advent of the global pandemic. Gonzalez said she’s making ends meet by making face masks.
“I have two employees. At this moment they are not working at all,” she said. “I’m worried because I worked so hard to get this business open.”
Down Third Avenue, Ashley Anne maintained a brave face as she continued to make drinks at The Nutrition Place.
“I miss the interaction mostly,” said Anne, who added that her nutrition bar adapted well to the public health rules. However, she said her retail neighbors have not.
“I wish they were able to stay open,” Anne said. “I do feel bad because a lot of them were trying to stay open or find a way that they can still support their employees.”
On Tuesday night, the City of Chula Vista’s City Council will take a look at ways to help. Deputy City Manager Eric Crockett said the council will consider a 90-day Economic Recovery Plan that could offer small businesses help in three ways.
He said the plan could offer technical or financial assistance to struggling owners. The council will also have a discussion about ways to possibly change the rules locally to allow more businesses to open or help them succeed once they do reopen.
Crockett said that could include delaying any owed-city fees until the business is back on its feet.
“I really do appreciate that they’re actually trying,” Anne said. “Anything that can help my neighbors, I’m here for.”
Gonzalez perked up when she heard the Chula Vista City Council will consider the plan.
“I still want to be in business,” she said.
Crocket added the plan is only 90 days because the rules keep changing across the country and state. Those 90 days would allow Chula Vista to circle back and adapt to those changes.
The Chula Vista City Council virtual meeting is Tuesday night at 5 p.m. Anyone who wants to comment about the 90-Day Economic Recovery Plan can submit comments on the city’s website.