San Francisco Business Owners Clamor for Help Amid Pandemic Restrictions

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San Francisco business owners who say they're almost out of time and precariously close to being forced to shut their doors due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions protested in front of city hall Tuesday.

The business owners said if they have to stay closed, they would like rent forgiveness or zero-interest loans to keep their businesses afloat.

Danielle Rabkin, owner of CrossFit Golden Gate, said debts are piling up following months of not being able to do business.

"I'm on the hook for over $10,000 a month in rent," Rabkin said. "I'm now over $50,000 in debt to my landlord, which at some point I technically am supposed to pay back. When that day comes, it's going to be a big problem."

Deedee Crossett, managing partner at Skin on Market, said they need help from politicians.

"I want them to come out with a plan and a protocol that says if you can hit all of these standards — you've got the space and the ventilation and you've got masks and signage and you can keep social distancing — then you're considered low-risk and you get to open," she said.

Some officials showed up at the protest to say they're sympathetic to the plight of small businesses.

"I don't think we should be waiting until Gavin Newsom announces that we're off the watch list to give anybody any kind of ability to prepare for the future," Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health and the city did not immediately respond to NBC Bay Area's request for comment.

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