STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — The San Joaquin Valley has been dealing with the stay-at-home order longer than the rest of Northern California.
The restrictions on businesses are starting to take its toll.
Tony Finnegan is the owner of Finnegan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant on Pacific Avenue in Stockton.
“Stockton was the hardest hit by the 2007 housing crisis. We’re still crawling out of bankruptcy. Something like this where hundreds of businesses could close leaving thousands of people unemployed would decimate our local economy,” Finnegan explained.
He said he and so many other restaurant owners have already had to let go of their employees.
“They’re barely able to take enough money home to keep own lights on and their own rent and their own mortgage paid. There’s definitely nothing left over for the business,” Finnegan said.
He said he’s hoping local, state and federal governments will provide more relief and soon.
“We shut down because you asked us to. So please come out and support these businesses,” Finnegan said
On the county level, some relief is coming to both businesses and individuals.
“These are for the businesses that are local that are hard struck,” said Tom Patti of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, District 3.
Patti is currently in quarantine because he tested positive for COVID-19.
“This is a miserable nasty virus. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Not at all,” Patti said.
Patti said the county approved $15 million from the general fund to go to help keep people in their homes and businesses with $10 million allocated for businesses.
“And then another $5 million for individuals that are going through the same types of hardships, unable to pay rent and mortgages and such,” Patti explained.
Finnegan said the money is definitely needed in Stockton, but he worries it just won’t be enough and may arrive too late.
That is the reason he said he wants the state, federal government and especially the city of Stockton to also provide aid.
“Now it’s time for the city and county leaders to kind of stand up for small businesses and protect them and protect the landlords and let’s work together until these funds are available so that we can access them so that all the bills can get paid,” Finnegan said.