Closed restaurants could mean less tax revenue for city of Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central Valley is home to thousands of restaurants.

From the biggest restaurant employers like John's Incredible Pizza to local eateries like Sal's Mexican Restaurant, all have been dealt the harsh realities of lost sales due to the closure of dining during the pandemic.

"We furloughed almost 120 people and I'm just a small organization compared to larger restaurants that have furloughed or laid off people because they're not serving the dine-in," said Lorraine Salazar with Sal's.

Salazar was able to keep 50 people across its three restaurants to do takeout. The city of Fresno and Fresno County have about 27,000 people working in eateries.

Many are not working or are on reduced hours.

"I know people have lived paycheck to paycheck, so I know bills are not getting paid right now and everybody's making the best that they can," said Danielle Van Ness, a local restaurant manager.

In just the city of Fresno, restaurants generate $10 million in sales tax revenue to the city - dollars that may not be going to the city.

"We've taken a preliminary look at our budget. We know that sales tax because of restaurant sales, automobiles to microwave ovens are going to have a big impact on our economy," said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

The mayor says the positive is that we are in better financial standing than we were during the last recession.

Owners tell Action News they are cleaning their restaurants and going over protocol.
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