Businesses dismayed by stay-at-home extension, owner calls it 'final blow' to his restaurant

It’s hard to believe that Vicky Alba, whose been sidelined from her skincare job because of COVID-19 restrictions being in-place much of the year, could be any more frustrated. But, she got more frustrated when she heard the State of California extended "Stay-At-Home" protocols that were supposed to end on Monday.

Says Alba, "Our industry has been shut down three times. Every time we reopened, we were only allowed to stay open a couple of weeks."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: State health officials extend SoCal stay-at-home order into 2021

For some, the new extension is like the last nail in the coffin. Mike Camorlinga owns Lulu’s Restaurant in Van Nuys.

"The bottom line," he says. "Is that we’re not going to make it."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Van Nuys restaurant struggles with COVID-19 restrictions

Back on Thanksgiving at Lulu’s, Camorlinga told us he had lost so much money he didn’t know if he could make it to the end of the year.

It’s now the end of the year and with the new stay-at-home order extension -- and no federal help he can count on -- he believes this could be "the final blow" to his restaurant.

It’s not good for restaurant owner Michael Simhai either. His Della Terra Restaurant in Beverly Grove is suffering too... maybe not as badly as Camorlinga’s. But, 2020 has been awful.

The way he puts it:

"It’s been hell... it’s been hell. Imagine you walk up to your restaurant every day and you don’t know what to expect," Simhai said.

On the stay-at-home extension, he says, "It’s devastating. I try to keep my staff on at least three weeks or a month and now I’ve got to lay off more people and soon enough I’m gonna run out of funds. I mean the landlord is working with us but still at some point everything is deferred. It’s not like miraculously you’re gonna make millions."

Mike Camorlinga would just like to make enough for his payroll at Lulus for his staff. For now, he’s planning on talking to his employees but what to say.

"It’s depressing and it is very scary," he says. And, of the extension he says, "We’re 95% already in our mind we’re out of business. Unless a miracle happens in the next couple of weeks I think we will close our doors."

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