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San Diego County leaders urge public to help support local businesses amid outbreak

Posted at 1:03 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 20:49:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- County leaders are urging the public to help support San Diego businesses that have suffered during the coronavirus outbreak.

At a Monday news conference, County Supervisors Krisin Gaspar and Jim Desmond joined local business owners to ask all of San Diego to do their part in keeping businesses operating, as they navigate through the challenges they now face dealing with the pandemic’s impact.

Jeff Rossman, with the California Restaurant Association, said, “This all happened so fast, and now 60 percent of the businesses have closed -- that’s thousands of employees.”

Many local business owners say they’ve had to think outside of the box to keep revenue coming in. Aside from delivery and take out, some are also looking at do-it-yourself meal kits.

Phil Pace, owner of Phil’s BBQ, said, “It’s like a drain in a bathtub; if you keep the hole small, you can afford to pay for health insurance and continue to be ready and prepared when this is over.”

But, until that happens, county leaders are asking larger companies to step in and help.

On Monday, the owner of San Diego-based Skrewball Whiskey, donated $100,000 to the restaurant care program that provides one-time financial support to restaurant employees that can help cover basic living expenses while working through a crisis like the coronavirus.

Also mentioned in the news conference was a plea from the San Diego Food Bank, which has a need right now for volunteers, who can help them safely provide food for those in need.