There are 30.2 million small businesses in the USA, and in San Diego 59 percent of the San Diego workforce are employed by small business owners. Sadly, 20% of new businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. Basically, the odds are stacked against small business owners.
Ask anyone in the USA how hard it is to run a small business. When you walk down the road and see these small businesses on the high street or on the corner, you think nothing of the struggles they face on a daily basis, or the long hours they work to survive. Life is hard enough. But now think, how has COVID19 affected those small business and the well-being of their owners, and the simple answer is, it has hit them very hard.
Some business owners in San Diego like the rest of the country have been hit hard by the COVID19 pandemic. Some have been forced to close for good, while others are wondering if they will last the next 12 months, so why is the Government ignoring the backbone of the Economy. The simple answer is no one knows. Small business owners cannot understand why they are being ignored, and why they are not being helped during this uncertain time, but one woman who will not sit down and be ignored is Ly Tran.
Ly Tran, moved to San Diego from Indianapolis, IN and bought a hair salon in 2018. She has spent a lot of money on her business to be apart of the community and provide a valued service. She, like so many small business owners did not imagine that something would be coming around the corner that could make life even harder.
Just like Ly, small business owners have been devastated at how the COVID19 has affected them. Ly, wants the Government to do more to support small business owners and wants Donald Trump and his team to provide Rent Relief for the backbone of the country.
We sat down with Ly Tran to find out how COVID19 has affected her and what she would like the government to do to support small business owners in San Diego and the rest of the country.
- First of all, can you please introduce yourself?
I moved to San Diego from Indianapolis, IN. I bought the hair salon in 2018 hoping that I could have a thriving business. We spent lot of money to purchase new equipment and remodeled. Then 2 months after we remodeled is the order to shutdown began. It has devasted so many businesses including ours. We are in the service Industry and are the ones who have been hit the hardest.
- You are a San Diego Salon Owner who is fighting for small business owners to get rent relief, why are you doing this?
Because I am a small business owner. I have a lot of friends and family who are also business owners. Some of us have not gotten the financial help that we are desperately needing.
- Why have you decided to take up the fight?
There is no justice for small business owners who have lost everything because we were forced to shutdown.
- COVID-19 has affected tens of millions of business owners, do you think it has hit the small business sector the hardest?
Absolutely, we don’t have enough access to capital and no cash reserve. Most small business owners are killing themselves everyday working long hours just to keep their doors open. We don’t deserve to be forced to close and lose everything we have ever owned due to a government shutdown.
- We are seeing a lot of big business owners lay off people while some have even closed for good, are you saying if you don’t win your fight and get rent relief we could see some small business owners close?
For sure, I would lose my business and we will be permanently closed if we don’t get relief.
- What percentage of small business owners do you believe will have to close if they don’t receive rent relief?
50% of the businesses in my shopping center will be forced to close permanently if we don’t get relief.
- If you do win your battle and receive rent relief, will this really help small business owners survive or are their other battles they need to face?
This will definitely help us with the biggest battle. The smaller battles will come up and we will deal with it then.
- You have invested your life saving to purchase your business in California, if you don’t receive rent relief how are you going to survive? I will have to live in my car, or sleep on my friends couch because I can’t afford to pay for rent.
- With the lockdown are beauty businesses owners in more demand than ever before, and for people like you, will this extra income help set off the income that has been lost?
Currently, we are in high demand because some salons around us have already went out of business. Therefore, we were busy first two weeks. However, there is no guarantee that we will stay busy in the future.
- The small business sector bring in a lot of tax for the government, and they also create a lot of jobs, so why do you think they are not getting the support they need?
Because the small businesses get lost in the crowd.
- You mentioned that one person you know is in arrears of $30,000, and face eviction, can the government not step in and bring in a law to sop all evictions and arrange some sort of payment plan?
It is my business that is facing eviction with $30,000 in back rent. The landlord has no compassion and is demanding rent
- There is a pot of $349 million to help small business owners, so why is it not being used for what it has been intended for? It’s been intended to help small business stay afloat. However, the provisions in the loan makes it very difficult to qualify and the usage is restricted.
- Do you think this serious problem where small business owners are being ignored is down to the current President? Do you think if another President was in office that small business owners would be better looked after? I’m not into politics so I don’t have an answer to this
- If small business owners are struggling now, how do you think they will cope if there is a second wave of COVID-19?
If we have a second wave, then it would be almost impossible to survive.
- The most important question, do you think you will succeed and receive rent relief?
To have a chance at this. We will need government intervention.
For further information or to contact Ly to offer assistance on GoFundMe
Media contact: Ly Tran