LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Small business owners have faced their own special set of challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many have closed, some have continued to operate with drastically reduced revenue and still others, like Luis Luna, say things have been so hard, they could be forced to close for good.
“The worst part is not knowing what to expect tomorrow,” Luna said. “How much worse is it going to get?”
These days, Luna, owner of Lunatic Psycles, thinks about his future a lot — and he’s scared. He’s run his Pasadena motorcycle shop for more than 20 years.
“I just had a thing for motorcycles,” he said. “It’s just been a part of my life since I was about 15.”
But in the wake of the pandemic, Luna said he’s about three months from having to close up shop for good.
“We’re thinking, we’re gonna have a good summer,” he said. “And then this happened, and things have just suddenly stopped.”
And Luna is not alone.
According to a survey by Main Street America, 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing in the coming months, and 3.5 million of those may only have two months to stay afloat.
But Luna is a father of two girls, one of whom has special needs, and he has made some tough choices to stay open.
“If I don’t make any money, you know, never mind that my bills don’t get paid, but what am I going to do to feed my kids,” he said. “That’s the scary part.”
Luna makes most of his money customizing American motorcycles, namely Harley Davidsons, but with so many out of work, his business is down by 70%.
“My mechanic, he comes into work,” Luna said. “He’s trying to, you know, help us ride it out, but he still has to eat too, so I have to make sure that he’s taken care of.”
For now, Luna’s shop is still open as he hopes for better days to come.
“If the phone rings, I want people to know we’re here,” he said.
That same survey found that small business owners are most in need of two things — financial assistance and extensions on their expenses.
As for Luna, his East Pasadena shop is open Tuesday through Saturday and said anyone interested in doing business should give the shop a call.