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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Purple tier has big impact on San Diego small businesses

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is calling on the county to push the state for a long-term strategy plan to protect small businesses.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — There’s no doubt the restrictions under the purple tier are pulling money from small business registers.  

While many businesses understand the need to be safe and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce reports small businesses make up 90 percent of businesses in San Diego. It is pleading for local, state and federal leaders on a long-term strategy to protect businesses financially and fairly.

“Come Saturday I have to shut down my doors again. I'm like please!” said Cassandra Schaeg, Sip Wine and Food Owner.

She was only open for less than two weeks, the small business owner had to close her Escondido tasting room under the new purple tier restrictions. She’d been saving up and waited for the kinks to be worked out before opening so she been closed since March.

“I'll be honest I don't know how long I can do it,” said Schaeg.

Loan deferments are going to expire, more employees will be laid off, federal aid has run out and the purple tier is impact small businesses on all levels. Gyms such as yoga studios will have to move outdoors. Vibe Flow at One Paseo in Carmel Valley say the colder temperatures are not conducive for yoga.

“Everything that lockdown happened at least for in our case and I suspect for many others, it's one step closer to not being able to reopen,” said Billy Borja, Vibe Flow Yoga owner.

In the South Bay, the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce executive director, Jason Wells says it’s been living as if it were in the purple tier since March closures. Wells says 95 percent of customers and employees cross the border and it’s been closed since March.  He hopes being in the most restrictive tier will sound the alarm for help.

“Now people that have ignored San Ysidro are now asking for local measures that can help San Ysidro,” said Wells.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce wants the county to push the state for better data on contact tracing exposure sites.

“If they are small businesses that are not part of the problem and the county can track that then we should be a little bit more precise and gauging which businesses need to do what,” said Jerry Sanders, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

The county public health officer says she understands the blanket approach on types of businesses may not be the answer to the closures.

“We continue to communicate with the state about looking at other options so that those businesses like restaurants are not punished,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten.

Purple tier restrictions will last at least three weeks, but the county expects with cases continuing to rise it will be longer.

“I'm trying to put on a brave face because the community is what is important but it's hard,” said Schaeg.

You can support small businesses by ordering takeout or delivery and shopping small.