Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Locally-Owned Retailers On The Central And South Coast Struggling Because Of Latest Shutdown Order

The run up to Christmas should be one of the most lucrative times of year for retailers.

Instead, the locally-owned stores in Ventura are quiet, with some not even bothering to open amid the latest state-mandated stay-at-home order. 

The owner of a boutique in the town says the shutdown is hitting small locally-owned stores, like hers, the hardest.

Deborah Yahner, who owns Ikat and Pearls in Ventura, says the State Mandated 20% limit on retail stores  - which came into play on Monday - is not the problem and that the order is pushing retailers like her towards bankruptcy. 

Credit KCLU
Deborah Yahner of Ikat and Pearls in Ventura says locally-owned retailers like her, are struggling to survive in the lockdown

"Yesterday, I had to run an errand and I saw a line forming outside TJ Maxx and I just began to cry."

She says that large corporations are prospering while small businesses like hers are empty. 

'This is a very bad thing for California and for the US," says Yahner. 

She said that the 20% number is "worthless" because her foot traffic comes from patrons of local restaurants and without that, towns like Ventura "will die." 

"We are symbiotic here in Downtown Ventura, so when one of us prospers, the entire town prospers," Yahner says.

"I understand the severity of things but I always there's a workaround. So how can we achieve both objectives without sending entire towns into bankruptcy?"

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.
Related Stories