Many Bay Area businesses did not survive the pandemic and many others are holding on by a thread.
Now business owners are hearing they need to hold on one more month before they can remove another hurdle -- the battle over indoor masks. California is waiting until the targeted reopening June 15 date to lift its mask mandate even after the Center for Disease Control eased its guidelines to allow fully vaccinated Americans to go without a mask in most cases.
"I've had people get in my face about it and become defensive," said Janay McCullough, who owns Tellus Coffee in Walnut Creek.
When McCullough opened the coffee shop a few months ago, the owner knew she would have to serve her lattes along with a mask requirement. But she said it has become harder to deliver that message in the past month.
"Some comments include 'Why aren't they listening to science? It's ridiculous, almost everyone is vaccinated now.'"
McCullough knows the tension is brewing, but California health officials said they believe most vaccinated residents get it and are willing to keep the masks on indoors for one more month.
Businesses are now getting creative to hopefully avoid confrontation.
"As a business we offer masks to those who do not have one," said Angelo Leonardo, Out the Dough owner.