Some Local Businesses Hanging on, Others Forced to Close as Pandemic Continues

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the entire business landscape in every community. There are businesses that are barely hanging on and many others that didn't make it.

At Tracy's Salon in San Jose, the customers are slowly coming back, but it's been a bumpy ride for owner Tracy Nguyen. Her salon barely survived two shutdowns.

"It is very scary to us, like after the first time it was closed," Nguyen said. "So, I have a little worry."

Nguyen relied on government grants, family donations and loans to keep her salon open.

"It's really, really worrying for me...because I don't want to close the business," she said.

Meanwhile, there are several other businesses that didn't survive the pandemic. The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose filed for bankruptcy. Many small businesses will not reopen.

Chacho's restaurant in downtown is one of them. After 27 years, owner Jorge Sanchez lost it all to COVID-19.

"It’s a blow to the heart, blow to the wallet," Sanchez said. "Very devastating."

Sanchez said he lost millions by closing the downtown flagship and the new restaurant that only opened for a few months in midtown.

"I paid my last employees in San Jose with my life insurance," he said. "I took an advance on my life insurance to pay my staff."

Sanchez is giving it another try in the restaurant business with another Chacho's in Morgan Hill.

"We’ll overcome this," he said. "Americans, Mexicanos, we know how to strive. We know how to persevere."

As a fallback, Sanchez is also opening a construction business with a staff of one.

"Well, I mean, you gotta look at a second alternative," he said. "I’m working on getting my license. It's something that you gotta look at."

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