Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Many businesses are struggling during this COVID crisis but for new business owners, the dream of being their own bosses was cut short.

Shruti Agarwal got her license to run her in-home Livermore day care center in 2017. It quickly grew to 10 children, but now she only has three.

“For me, it will be difficult to continue like this, just on three kids,” she said. “I don’t want to close down my business because two of my families are essential.”

Agarwal’s business is one of many East Bay Black and Brown businesses impacted by the COVID crisis. 

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research recently did a study that shows that nationwide, the business shutdown disproportionately affected Black-owned businesses by 40%, Latinx-businesses by 32% and Asian businesses by 26%.

“Due to the coronavirus, half the people are scared to come out,” Mohammad Khadiri.

He and Jose opened up Mama’s Pizza Take and Bake in Pleasanton back in February, one month before shelter-at-home orders were taking effect.

“We were at the stage we were about to close the whole business here just a couple of months we were open here we didn’t know the pandemic was going to be worse,” he said.

They say they are refusing to give up. This restaurant is a lifelong dream for them, they will do everything they can to keep the business open.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Leave a Reply