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More than 45{5acde2b135f9ff77808fc0f91e8d11a519c273808dcb0870bdf5e7537f47f473} of S.F. small businesses remain closed despite improving economy


Over 45{5acde2b135f9ff77808fc0f91e8d11a519c273808dcb0870bdf5e7537f47f473} of San Francisco’s small businesses remain closed despite an improving economy and California’s reopening, according to a new city report.

The rate has been flat from March to early June, even as coronavirus cases fell sharply and business restrictions were completely lifted. The city lags California, which had 40.8{5acde2b135f9ff77808fc0f91e8d11a519c273808dcb0870bdf5e7537f47f473} of small businesses closed.

“I definitely see a lot of for-lease signs. A lot of businesses closed and stayed closed,” said Maryo Mogannam, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations, which represents small business owners. Some owners have considered reopening, but felt the risk of failing in a few months wasn’t worth it, he said.

Ted Egan, the city’s chief economist, said the stubbornly high rate of closures was surprising, but he expects it to improve next month. The data comes from anonymized payment and payroll figures compiled by nonprofit Opportunity Insights.

In contrast, credit and debit card spending has also returned to pre-pandemic levels in San Francisco, suggesting that residents are spending more on online shopping or other leisure activities rather than at local stores, Egan said.


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