Bay Area Businesses Still Struggling Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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After a year of COVID-19 lockdown, businesses say things are starting to look up -- but not all is back to normal. 

Catering large banquets has kept a restaurant in Downtown San Jose booming over the last few years. They had big rebounding plans this fall -- then came the delta variant. 

Adolfo Gomez makes repairs to his Mezcal Restaurant while it’s closed on Mondays. But lately he’s had more free time than he’d like.

“Everybody started canceling,” he said. “We had four cancellations in one week. So it’s scary.”

Community groups and companies have now canceled large banquets for more than 200 people that Mezcal was scheduled to cater. 

Roughly 11 money-making events for Mezcal are now gone.

One of the cancellations came from the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, which was scheduled to hold its annual gala on Saturday.

It was slated as a hybrid gala this year, with 200 guests at the City Hall Rotunda.

Then the city required proof of vaccination at events held in city-owned property  

“The city adopted new rules in connection with the delta variant. And that would have put our volunteers and our team in a very difficult situation, having to frankly police masks and vaccination records,” said Ron Gonzalez, CEO of the foundation. 

Across town, a dormant convention center is slowly waking up.

Smaller conventions are scheduled for November and December, with associations or interest groups booking the venue.

But operators say they don’t expect larger, corporate  conventions until the spring—with even bigger events finally returning next fall. 

Mezcal is hopeful it will still be around by then

“We have to work three times harder than we usually do,” said Gomez. 

Three times harder, just  to keep the doors open, as the pandemic continues to linger. 

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