Servando Vargas/Courier A for lease sign hangs on the window of the former Souplantation restaurant in Pasadena, CA on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Many businesses faced economic hardship due to the covid-19 pandemic and were forced to close.
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When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the nation many businesses felt the effects of quarantine. Customers staying at home created panic for business owners as they tried to keep their stores open and make a profit during a global pandemic without the proper support or guidance from the government on how they should be approaching this pandemic. Many businesses were unsure how to operate safely so they chose to close their doors to customers all together.

Yelp reported in their local economic impact report, updated on June 25, 2020, “Los Angeles reported the highest amount of business closures in the country with 11,774 total closures. Of all business closures on Yelp since March 1, 41% are permanent closures.”

The economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for countless businesses and as multi million dollar companies receive the majority of the attention from government funding programs, what’s left over just isn’t enough for the many small businesses operating in our cities.

This is reality for many business owners and as it became more apparent that there were no strong support systems put in place for small businesses, state and local governments stepped in to make sure their community business owners were being taken care of. Small businesses are an important part of any community and the city of Pasadena has taken many steps to give guidance and support to their local entrepreneurs. New websites have been created to help businesses access the resources in place for them.

“The City of Pasadena has launched expedited permit and plan check processes to facilitate the rapid reopening of qualified dining and retail establishments seeking to comply with COVID-19 protocols and social distancing requirements,”the office of the city manager stated in a news release.

This website gives business owners and employees access to multiple services and applications for funds such as the LA Regional COVID Fund, a grant that supports businesses with COVID compliance and additional funding to help businesses recover from the impact of coronavirus.

The Pasadena chamber of commerce stated in a COVID-19 update on September 28, “The grant provided by the County of Los Angeles in partnership with institutional and corporate philanthropy aims to support Micro-entrepreneurs, small business, and Nonprofits across Los Angeles County. The grant Awards up to $5,000 per business to help businesses offset costs related to compliance with local health orders and up to $25,000 to businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 for a variety of eligible uses.”

While this is a great resource for local businesses to take advantage of there is still a lot of work to be done to help local economies recover from the effects of this pandemic. With better leadership in place at the federal level businesses may receive the support they need to keep their stores open. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect many businesses it is important to shop locally and support small businesses.

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