It’s no secret that the steps Sacramento has taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 have had major repercussions for Sacramento’s economy. While a lot of larger companies will be able to wait it out and get through this difficult time, many local small businesses around Sacramento, that do not have the same resources, will not have the same luxury.
I took to the streets of downtown to see how empty it actually is and while maintaining social distancing and not interacting with anyone else I took the photos attached to this article.
Aside from a few essential workers, the occasional jogger, and the homeless, there was hardly anybody around downtown. Most small businesses, especially in downtown, rely on heavy foot traffic.
“For us it basically put an end to, you know, our main source of income, our storefront sales,” said Andy Paul who, with his wife Camille Esch, owns Andy’s Candies.
As a result, Andy’s Candies could no longer support their storefront staff and was forced to lay them off. Even with these hardships they have taken the proper steps in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and have been able to adapt to the new situation by shifting fully online and maintaining social distance with the few staff that they were able to retain.
“We try to not even be in the space at the same time and then when we do have to be, we have some guidelines about keeping distance,” said Andy. These guidelines include separate work spaces and separate places for personal items.
Andy believes that the city of Sacramento and California in general has handled the situation fairly well although he is mostly concerned about what is going to happen after the shutdown. In regard to the months after the shutdown Andy said, “A lot of businesses are gonna decide to telecommute permanently… there is gonna be less foot traffic downtown. That’s gonna impact every business… we are probably gonna be in some kind of recession.”
However, in the meantime the Sacramento community has maintained an incredible amount of support for small local business.
“The Sacramento community has been awesome. I’m noticing with a lot of my other friends who are in small business, people are going to these businesses and saying, how can I support you… our customer base has been incredible with the kind of support they have given us… some of them are friends of mine but a lot of them are just our customer base who are like, I hope you are doing okay, we really want to support you” said Andy.
Hopefully things will improve going forward. Until then stay strong Sacramento.