There are many questions from residents and businesses as California gets closer to the least restrictive reopening level on June 15, which would remove virtually all mask, capacity, and social distancing rules that have been in place for more than a year.
In San Francisco, businesses are facing obstacles as they prepare for the biggest change in 15 months of the pandemic. Every company faces similar questions about masking and hygiene protocols after the pandemic.
And as the state prepares to ditch social distancing and welcome full capacity, businesses face supply and hiring issues, wondering whether to follow the state’s lead.
Yu Lin, manager of Wharf Outdoors clothing store in San Francisco, said most of the visitors to the city recently have all been from California.
But when the state reopens, all of the systems for San Francisco’s main financial engine – tourism – will be in place. The store manager hopes that many people will travel longer distances and spend more time and money in the city.
The problem now is finding enough people to fill the shifts and enough merchandise to fill the shelves.
“Some of our suppliers are struggling to source products from different countries,” said Lin.
Even sourcing domestic goods has been difficult at times as US companies face their own employment and production struggles.
But the cheap imports that many businesses rely on for their sales, especially from China, have been hit by the pandemic.
“Things come slowly, and things that should have been six months ago are now six to seven or eight months late,” said Gary Stokes, independent sales representative.
The chairman of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association also said restaurant owners hope the city will expand the common areas and outdoor dining areas by early next week. This could help owners generate more money after reopening, bringing back workers in high demand and getting higher wages.