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From Ventura to San Luis Obispo, from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, KCLU's in-depth, thoughtful coverage of all the news that matter to you.

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

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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. 

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Credit KCLU
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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?"