CORONA DEL MAR, Calif. – Regulations on Orange County businesses are making it increasingly challenging for some to stay in business.
Restaurant owner Jim Walker re-opened the Bungalow Restaurant in Corona Del Mar on Friday - following the latest orders from Governor Gavin Newsom - that called for the closure of all indoor restaurant dining rooms and bars for at least three weeks.
“Trying to react and basically get back into business and do the best we can with what we’ve got,” Walker said.
Walker estimates he's operating at about 30 percent of capacity, and his bottom line is hurting. He's lost hundreds of thousands in profits since the start of the pandemic.
Newsom’s newest restrictions were applied to 19 California counties on a watch list for recent surges in coronavirus hospitalizations and infections.
Orange County's testing numbers were mistakenly inflated for over a month. Thirty-thousand serology tests were added to the county's cumulative test-to-date total.
The July 4th weekend is one of the area's biggest for business. President and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Steve Rosansky issued the following statement:
“The July 4th weekend is traditionally the busiest weekend in town. With restaurants limited to outdoor dining only and the shut down of the local beaches, businesses in Newport Beach will suffer another crippling blow.”
For Walker, who says he and his restaurant have complied with every restriction implemented since the beginning of the pandemic, the strain is making the future - and being able to stay afloat - uncertain.
“There’s only a certain life span when you run out of cash flow, it’s like turning spigot off to the faucet. You’re done,” Walker says.