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California restaurant converts to general store amid coronavirus pandemic

Prairie in the Mission District

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The coronavirus has forced restaurant owners to get creative if they want to continue to be profitable. Officials at Prairie in the Mission District restaurant in California started selling items they would have normally used for daily operations.

“This was very unforeseen, but I started working on our ‘what if’ strategy about two weeks ago,” said Anthony Strong, owner. “We don’t sell anything by weight or measure, just whole items in bulk, basically.”

They’re selling everything from fresh produce, to coffee, to toilet paper.

Strong said it’s a nod to his great grandparents, who ran a general store following the Great Depression. It also gives those who work for him and the vendors he works with continued income.

“I don’t even know if it’s working at all yet,” he said. “I know we’re getting people food and keeping our lights on. We’re gonna do it as long as we can.”

Financial analysts said though a stimulus is on the way, small business owners like Strong will likely have to consider layoffs and cutting costs where they can.

The same goes for the average American.

“We are closer to a bottom than to a top,” said Rob Black, financial expert. “If you have a little bit of extra cash, that’s a great thing.”

Black said the average American should focus on needs instead of wants and not make any rash decisions.

If you have a 401K and are still employed, now is the time to fully participate. If you’re a gig worker, analyze those mandatory costs and limit your spending.

For those with portfolios, don’t pull out of the market. Instead, understand what you own, and make sure you’re not fully invested in one sector.

“We’re down 35% roughly from all-time highs that happened one month ago,” said Black. “One month ago, you looked like a genius for staying invested, today you look like you should’ve gotten a little more diversification in.”

Experts say what we can control, is staying inside so take the time to prepare for recovery.

“We’re gonna get out of this, probably six to 18 months back to all-time highs,” said Black. “The sad part about it is that it’s our kids and our kids’ kids that are gonna be paying for that trillion-dollar-plus bailout.”

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