The pandemic has had a devastating effect on businesses across the United States, and California has been hit particularly hard. According to a recent Yelp economic report, Los Angeles County has seen 15,000 business closures since the pandemic began, with half of those closures expected to be permanent. This is more than any other city in the US. The California Restaurant Association reported that before the pandemic, the state had over 76,000 food and beverage establishments employing 1.8 million people.
Now, many of these businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Bill Allen, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation, explains why Southern California is a pain point for small business losses. John Cox, a former small business owner, has promised tax cuts to make California more business-friendly. Kevin Kiley, a Rocklin Assemblyman, has proposed using executive powers to push back onerous regulations such as those for concert workers.
Larry Elder, a radio host and former small business owner, has emphasized the impact of crime on small businesses and has openly expressed opposition to a minimum wage. Governor Gavin Newsom has taken some steps to help small business owners, including tax breaks for those who received federal relief loans. However, John Kabateck of the National Federation of Independent Business notes that many small business owners are too busy dealing with larger concerns to focus on the recall effort. An analysis of the data shows that nearly half of San Francisco's small businesses remain closed and some others are about to close.