Economic damage grows as coronavirus restrictions lengthen

Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 19:06:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — President Trump wants to restart the U.S. economy by April 12, but multiple economists, governors and health officials are expressing skepticism about that date amid efforts to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections.

Still, the longer the shutdown lasts, the harder it will be for businesses to get up and running, economists say.

Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, said if this lasts through April, it should be survivable for many businesses. However, anything beyond that could render reopening less likely.

"Some businesses are not going to be able to hang on, even with the help that is coming from the federal government, so they will end up closing for good," Gin said.

San Diego's economy is hurting as thousands of restaurant, retail and hotel workers are laid off amid the coronavirus restrictions. Meanwhile, the people who are working from home have very few places to spend their money.

Jessie Medina, who opened the Femx Quarter co-working and event center in Mission Hills in November, said her business is out $50,000 and she had to put two new hires on hold.

"We were getting traction, growing, and all of a sudden it's like, stop," she said. "I really want our doors to open, I don't know how much longer businesses that have these liabilities every month can stay open if they're not making money."

Medina said she is trying to do her part by taking out from locally owned restaurants and buying from local sellers, but with her very limited income, she can only do so much.

The Workforce Partnership reported Friday that more than 13,000 San Diego workers have been laid off, furloughed or seen their hours cut. Those layoff notices are temporarily no longer required law, so the actual number could be much higher.