California businesses having to get creative despite vaccine rollout

Posted at 10:32 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 13:32:53-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KERO) — The COVID-19 vaccine is here. While that signifies a medical breakthrough and a new stage in the pandemic it doesn't mean California businesses magically go back to the way things were. Adam Racusin explains with most of the state in the most restrictive tier businesses are still forced to get creative.

On a cold California winter's day, you could probably use a bit of sunshine. Sure, you can walk outside and soak it up but what if sunshine was delivered right to your doorstep.

Before the pandemic, Stephanie Parker ran Epicurean San Diego. It's a boutique tour and events company. When the state shut down business dried up.
"2020 was kind of shot for us and I needed to get a little creative," said Parker.

By creative Stephanie took her brand, took her clients, and figured out how to wrap all of that into an experience that fits in a box that can ship to people's homes.

"We launched our epic San Diego sunshine boxes and what that is for us I basically took a childhood memory of my grandparents' home," explained Parker. "A lot of different things that for me are either kitchen staples or some of my fun favorite food items or just ways to be cozy at home right now."

California regulations have forced business owners across the state to get creative.

San Diego-based Thorne Brewery is converting the outdoor patio of a restaurant they had planned to open into its own barbecue eatery.

"If outdoor is the new norm then let's kick the --- out of it. Let's not put it in the street."

In Bakersfield, Jin Sushi is opening a second location. Something that's been in the works for years.

"We're remaining optimistic. We don't know what's to come but with a fan base and regular customers so just to be available for them down here as well as on the other side of town. We're hoping it's going to work out to a happy medium on both sides of town," said the owner.

According to an October report from Yelp, across the country, more than 210,000 businesses reopened after temporary closing. That report was before the recent spike in cases and state-wide regional stay home orders meaning some things are probably different. But it showed business owners have been resilient.

Business owners like Colin Duncan, owner of Colin's Barbershop in San Luis Obispo.

"When this thing happened, I decided it was time to go out on my own and go for it. Take all my savings and just see what happens."

In Stephanie Parker's case, she's looks forward to when she can shift back to in-person events.

"Everybody's struggling right now, and every day is a different thought and a different oh my goodness what's about to happen so keeping flexibility is really important right now."