By Steve Levy
I Support Helping our Local Small Businesses Start to Reopen Quickly ANDUploaded: May 12, 2020
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Palo Alto was seeing small businesses close. Then it was a combination of not enough customers and rising costs.
In the past two months more businesses have closed and many more are on the verge of going under.
I had the opportunity to listen to local businesses on the forums conducted by the city manager and staff. Most of the businesses are quite small and I found their stories heartbreaking and credible. I heard from restaurant, retail, personal service businesses and a dentist.
I am not an expert in this area and invite local businesses to share what would help them start (and I emphasize start) to reopen.
One idea that is interesting to me as a resident is the idea of using streets and parking lots to expand outdoor seating for restaurants.
Why did I end the title with AND?
I have 4 ANDs
One is that this is done safely, I have some confidences that our businesses are up to that task.
Two is that we as residents observe the safety protocols. There are stories (hopefully isolated incidents) where customers were rude and broke all the safety rules. My experience here is that most Palo Altans are doing a great job of trying not to infect others.
Three is that if one and two do not work out in practice, we vies this as an experiment that is not yet ready for prime time.
Four is my personal ask.
Nancy and I are spending as much as possible in local small businesses. I know everyone cannot do this. But this is a way we can really help local businesses, some now that are open, and others as they open.
I would love to hear positive suggestions.
I will delete political statements or statements of blame,