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San Diego small businesses debate on how to handle losses and prices

After a receipt posted online showed COVID surcharges, News 8 spoke to a local business about price hikes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — While a lot of small businesses are struggling to stay afloat during these takeout times, Small Goods, a shop located near La Jolla Boulevard and Pearl Street in La Jolla Village has an even more unique problem.

“We had had about three weeks to sort of figure out what was going on as a cheese shop and cafe before the world collapsed, said Michael Eastwood.

Michael and Jenny Eastwood opened up their café just as the coronavirus crisis exploded.  

“We’re all small business owners struggling,” Michael told News 8.

The couple, who are essentially the owners and only operators, applied for stimulus help but were denied.

This weekend someone posted a receipt on social media, showing they were charged an extra $2 at a Poway restaurant, for a COVID fee. The person who posted it said they didn’t know about the charge until they saw their receipt.

The negative comments rolled in but others defended the restaurant, saying it had signs letting customers know the increase was for carne asada items due to a shortage.

News 8 went to the restaurant and confirmed signs were posted at the walkup and drive through.

“I think they can be very forthright about it and let people know in an outright way, sure, but it’s always up to the customer whether they want to pay it or not,” Michael said.

Small Goods hasn’t raised its prices but say they’ve received a lot of community support which we saw firsthand.

“You’ve got to come here, please,” said Elaine Story. “They’re wonderful because I believe what goes around comes around.”

“I think every business has to figure it out for themselves, and you know if we hadn’t had the community support rallying for us, maybe who knows we would be charging COVID fees,” said Jenny. “You don’t know what you’re going to do until you kind of have do it. 

With the future of the shutdown still unknown, they do their part by inviting local farmers to set up outside and sell their products.

Their motto - help others and they will help you.

“I think right now is the time for us to really rally together and figure out how we can do business and help each other,” said Michael.

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