SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California — Small business owners in different industries say they are determined to remain open no matter what.
Governor Gavin Newsom could announce on Tuesday that San Diego County must move into the state's most restrictive tier, the purple tier, which would mean many businesses would need to close down indoor operations. The tiers are part of California's COVID-19 "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" which rates counties based on coronavirus risk level.
Ben Clevenger, owner of Eastbound Bar and Grill, said he's going to continue to allow indoor dining at 25% capacity, regardless of what the state has to say.
"We've invested a lot of time, money, and effort into setting up our restaurants," said Clevenger. "So with that, we're going to stay open and we're going to continue moving forward."
"We don't want any more free money. We don't want to be helped," said Sara Krencicki, owner of Lash Lift San Diego. "We want to be able to work. We want to be free."
Even if San Diego moves back into the purple tier, she too plans to keep her doors open.
"It will have an impact on the business," she said. "And it has an impact on our emotional health because we need to lock the doors and really be secretive."
Krencicki said she isn't worried about any consequences.
"I think those are idle threats at this point," she said.
Both owners said they'll continue to follow the safety guidelines of wearing masks and social distancing. But both believe the state's metric system is unrealistic and makes it impossible for them to ever reopen.
Christina Stang, one of the owners of Skateworld, said the state should focus more on how to reopen safely.
"If I didn't have a small business I probably would be like 'What are these businesses doing? I don't understand why don't they want everyone safe?' Well, they also wanna eat too," she said.
Skateworld has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We need guidelines to reopen," she added. "We don't need guidelines of when we could possibly, theoretically [open after] a year being closed - we don't need any of that. We need to know when are we reopening and we can't back up on that."
"If the big guys can be open [like] Walmart, Target - all these massive chains - can be open, I feel like we can offer whatever they're doing to keep people safe. We can do that as well," Stang said.