Take-out only has some small businesses bracing for disaster

The shelter-in-place order and mandatory conversion of dine-in restaurants to take-out or delivery only due to the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disastrous effect on the small business economy.  
“I’m worried because for this thing to reach three weeks, April 7, and I still have expenses, and they’re coming due,” said Jim Angelopoulos, owner of Yoked restaurant.
If the bald-headed restaurateur had hair, he would have lost it by now. His popular Morgan Hill breakfast spot has empty yellow and red booths and seats. 
Only a smattering of carry-out orders were placed since the shelter-in-place order killed dine-in service. He worries reaction to COVID-19’s infection curve will fry his business.
“Right now we’re offering 50% off on social media. We’re offering free coffee. We’re offering free donuts. We’re doing whatever we can to bring customers in. But people for the most part are afraid, and they’re staying home,” said Angelopoulos.
At San Jose City Hall, council members met in smaller quarters as they considered measures to help keep the wolf from city and Santa Clara County businesses.
“Today the pandemic is no longer a possibility, it is a reality,” said San Jose Assistant City Manager Kip Harkness. 
Added District 4 Councilman Lan Diep, “If we lose them, the recovery from COVID-19 will be much harsher than going through COVID-19 itself.”
Diep proposes making a $2 million federal Small Business Administration fund available for low-interest loans. The money would help off-set the lack of revenue now afflicting tens of thousands of small businesses. Additionally, the District 4 representative wants to galvanize Silicon Valley tech giants – Google, Apple, Facebook -- to create a fund for grants, to keep the large debt incurred by small businesses to a minimum.
“It’s great to get low-interest loans. But you don’t want to be so in the hole, that you’re climbing out of debt when we get out of this,”said Diep. 
“Hopefully the federal government will back-fill it, so that our tax revenues don’t have to be the only source of revenue for this fund.” said District 10 councilman Johnny Khamis.
Back in Morgan Hill, hope is running out at Yoked. If there isn’t a financial infusion of some kind, COVID-19 could force the doors to close, even if no one is infected.
“If it doesn’t work I’ll shut it down by the end of this week, and wait it out,” said Angelopoulos.
Waiting it out is not free. There are food costs, employees that will go without paychecks, taxes are due and so is the rent.
Councilman Diep says the SBA loan application process is now open, but he’s still trying to cobble together tech support for a fund for grants.