Social media campaign looks to help businesses hurt by PG&E’s power shut-offs

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- This holiday shopping season California is hoping to help small businesses rebound from the power shut-offs in October.

After businesses across the state tossed money and time during Pacific Gas and Electric’s preemptive power outages, state leaders were hoping to bring more rings to registers in small shops across California.

"The main thing they need and can use is customers," said Lenny Mendonca, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s chief economic advisor.

Mendonca said this week the state is launching a social media campaign to urge visitors and Californians to shop local, even beyond Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

"There is every reason to believe that people will be out and support their neighbors,” Mendonca said. “It happens in all sorts of time periods whenever a business is challenged. There's enormous resonance in the brand which is California and people appreciate their local businesses.”

Mendonca said October's power shut-offs did not have a huge impact on California's overall economy but said small businesses took big hits.

"Small businesses, in particular,  generally did not have backup power,” he said. “And also, not being able to have revenue for a couple of days in the busy part of the season can be very problematic to many small business who don't have the ability to withstand  the loss of revenue for that time period."

The state does offer grants to help those shops in need.

"What they really need is for people to come and shop,” Mendonca said. “They don't want handouts, they want customers."

This weekend the state will begin sharing the voices of those small businesses all over social media.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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