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After 2 years, SF's Castro is surviving COVID

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While few people will likely forget the silent pall that fell over San Francisco beginning two years ago March 17 with the COVID-19 lockdown, businesses in the LGBTQ Castro neighborhood are still struggling with the fallout from the impact of the pandemic."The COVID?19 pandemic has had a debilitating impact on small businesses in San Francisco," according to a report issued jointly in May 2021 by the San Francisco Office of Small Business and San Francisco State University, titled "Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses in San Francisco.""While demand has dried up due to the lack of tourists and shelter-in-place mandates, city mandates around capacity limits, opening dates, and a lack of transparent rollouts of programs have been devastating.

Various sectors have been affected in disparate ways," the report states.One can see that firsthand in the Castro.Local Take, a shop specializing in San Francisco-made crafts at 3979-B 17th Street, fared reasonably well, said assistant manager Andy Eaglesham.

While traffic fell notably in the early days of the pandemic, the shop's online business kept things going as did its pop-up at Green Apple Books in the Richmond (that effort closed last summer). "People were happy to come back again," said Eaglesham, a straight ally, once things began opening up in earnest. "We had a big uptick over the holidays," he said, but shipping delays due to supply chain issues have caused their own problems, too.Around the corner and down the street at Fabulosa Books (489 Castro Street), formerly an outlet of Dog Eared Books in the Mission, the bookstore closed during the first few months of the pandemic but reopened in June 2020.

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