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California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a beating online after he posted a tweet encouraging residents to patronize small businesses in the state despite coronavirus rules mandating many of them remain closed or limited capacity.
“Today is Small Business Saturday. California is home to over 4 million small businesses. This holiday season, shop safe and shop local to help support our economy and the over 7 million workers that help keep our small businesses going,” Newsom tweeted.
The tweet comes just days after Newsom issued new COVID-19-related lockdown orders for many small businesses as infection cases rise in the state, even as owners are bracing for bankruptcy.
It also comes after reports revealed he violated his own restrictions on in-person dining at a posh restaurant at a dinner he attended with his wife, political advisers, and lobbyists.
“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic, and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement announcing the new restrictions, which came just ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
“I could lose everything, it would be sad because my family, we’ve been here for 32 years,” Christina Bui of San Jose told ABC-7 earlier this month after the new restrictions were implemented.
Bui said she has already lost 80 percent of her business and Newsom’s new COVID orders “dashed the little hope she still had left,” the outlet reported.
“This is the time that we were going to hopefully bounce back,” she added.
At the plaza where her business is located, in the worst months of coronavirus lockdowns this year, less than one-third of the 60 retail tenants could pay their rent.
“A lot of the tenants, they were just looking for a shoulder to cry on, they’re just trying to put together a game plan,” Billy Ellermets, the property manager, told ABC-7.
“By moving back to the purple tier, we strongly believe more businesses will be shuttered indefinitely. The back and forth from one tier to another is both frustrating and confusing,” Annie Lopez of Silicon Valley Small Business Development told the outlet.
“It’s just an absolute tragedy that this has to happen,” Ellermets added.
For his part, Newsom claimed during a press conference announcing the new restrictions that his “top priority, moving into presentation of the January budget, is to support our small businesses.”
But it’s not at all likely many of the state’s small businesses are going to survive much longer.
In addition to the business lockdowns, Newsom also issued a month-long curfew for purple-tier counties where cases have spiked. The limited state-at-home order implements a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in 41 of the state’s 58 counties, meaning non-essential work and gatherings will be prohibited during those hours, CBS Sacramento reported.
The curfew covers 94 percent of the nearly 40 million residents in the state, which also now “face the most severe restrictions under California’s system for reopening the economy,” the outlet reported.
In Los Angeles County, restaurants, bars, and eateries were hit again with brand-new restrictions even on outdoor dining, despite having already spent a lot of money to make coronavirus-related modifications.
Online, Newsom was blasted for his encouragement to shop small businesses.
This is so tone deaf
— Dan Reichert (@DanReichert23) November 28, 2020
Bro read the room
— kiki (@kikistweets88) November 28, 2020
You are hated, and deservedly so. Hitler in hair gel.
— Cerno (@Cernovich) November 28, 2020
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) November 29, 2020
We can’t support them because you keep closing them!! Open the state up!!!
— Vince (@vmoronez) November 28, 2020
Pretty sure you killed all the small businesses. Open up California!
— matthew anger (@anger_matthew) November 28, 2020
This has to be the most tone deaf tweet you’ve had. And that’s saying something.
You mean all the small businesses you absolutely crushed ? The ones you keep closing no matter what?
— OH! (@Jyeah15) November 28, 2020
Warning: Strong language
Did you forget you fucking closed them all??????
— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) November 28, 2020