SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A south Sacramento business owner is worried he will soon have to close his doors for good due to the pandemic.
“We are hoping he give us the green light to open, but we’ve been forgotten,” said Jorge Urbina.
Urbina is visibly frustrated as he speaks from his empty indoor entertainment center at the Home Leisure complex in south Sacramento.
“It is really hard,” Urbina said. “You can’t control what’s going on.”
His business Soccer Pool Complex was open for three years before the coronavirus closed its doors. The indoor business is classified in the last tier of California’s reopening plan.
“We don’t get it. Why can casinos be open? If you go to a casino, you spend an hour to two hours. Over here, you can have kids playing around for 40 minutes [to] an hour,” Urbina said.
He says he has a sanitation plan in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that includes scheduled slots for small groups and cleaning protocols every hour.
“We have thought about dividing our pool tables – every other table where people will be playing around. Limit the people who will be inside here,” Urbina said.
But, so far, he has fallen short of the goal line – and worries he will close for good.
“It is a tough decision. Hopefully, by the end of the month, we will decide,” Urbina said.
The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce says nearly half of all small businesses will not survive the pandemic – and that minority-owned businesses are the hardest hit; of the 60,000 in Sacramento County, less than a third received PPP loans.
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Some business owners find it hard to qualify and hard to repay when they are not allowed to be open.
“We have to find other ways to support them,” said Metro Chamber spokesperson Erica Bjork.
Bjork says coming up with alternative ways to support them is important.
“They are some of the first to come back, they are some of the first to hire. They hire more people than some of the traditional businesses, so they are a thriving part of our economy,” Bjork said. “And if we want a stronger more resilient economy, we need to be supporting them.”
For now, Urbina has turned to online fundraising efforts.
“We are trying to survive, not because of us but because of the community. The last three years they have supported us.”