Santa Clara County Health Workers Seek Out Small Businesses To Spread Safe COVID-19 Practices

September 23, 2020

KPIX 5 SF

Santa Clara County Health Workers Seek Out Small Businesses To Spread Safe COVID-19 Practices

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Santa Clara County is stepping up outreach efforts to help small businesses survive the pandemic and the economic downturn.

County health workers went door-to-door Wednesday along Alum Rock Avenue spreading the word to struggling small businesses: safe health practices can keep their essential workers on the job and their businesses open.

The outreach is part of a massive effort to visit over 3,000 small businesses in person this month.

“The safer the business is for the community and for the workers, the better and more successful the business will be,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

The health workers visited Mariscos Cancun restaurant which has its inside dining rooms closed. By noon on Wednesday, there were no customers outside, either.

“It’s very, very difficult because it’s slow. Not too much customer,” said restaurant manager Lolin Sanchez.

The health workers also pass out health information, safety placards and references for business assistance and loans.

Next door at El Nuevo Rancho Grande western wear store, the manager said they are keeping the doors open, but just barely.

“Whatever we owe for the rent, we complete it with our own savings,” said manager Gigi Soliman.

They can at least keep the doors open. Other businesses can’t even do that.

“We’re a trifecta, a movie theatre, a bar and a restaurant,” said Dan Orloff, manager of the Pruneyard Cinemas in Campbell. “And of the most part, we can’t open any of them indoors.”

He said the business is struggling along with some outdoor food and drink service, but the movie theatres have been dark since the pandemic began.

“Other counties are allowing movie theatres and restaurants to reopen indoors. Give us a chance to survive. Give us a plan,” Orloff said. “At shelter-in-place, we laid off 118 full and part-time workers and right now we have six back to work.”