reopening the bay area

San Francisco Businesses Face Hurdles in Preparing for June 15 State Reopening

NBC Universal, Inc.

There are many questions from residents and businesses as California inches closer to the least restrictive reopening tier on June 15, which would lift virtually all mask, capacity and social distancing rules that have been in place for more than a year.

In San Francisco, businesses face obstacles in preparing for the biggest change in 15 months during the pandemic. Every business face similar questions about masking and hygiene protocols moving forward post pandemic.

And as the state prepares to say goodbye to social distancing and hello to full capacities, businesses will face supply and hiring issues, and questions about whether to follow the state's lead.

Yu Lin, manager for Wharf Outdoors clothing store in San Francisco, said most of the visitors to the city recently have all been local Californians.

But it's about to be all systems go for San Francisco's main financial engine --tourism -- when the state reopens. The store manager hopes many people will travel longer distances and spend more time and money in the city.

Now the trouble is finding enough people to fill the shifts and enough merchandise to fill the shelves.

"Some of our suppliers are having trouble getting products from different countries," Lin said.

Even getting some domestic merchandise has been difficult at times, as United States companies face their own employment and production struggles.

But the low-cost imports that many shops depend on for revenue, especially those from China have ravaged by the pandemic.

"Stuff is coming slow, and stuff that should have been in six months ago, is now six to seven or eight months late," said Gary Stokes, and independent vendor representative.

The head of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association also said restaurant owners hope the city will extend the shared spaces, outdoor dining areas by early next week. That could help owners generate more money after the reopening to help bring back workers who are in high demand and fetching higher wages.

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