Downtown Businesses Brace For Furlough Fridays

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mimi Yousif owns Bagel Time a few blocks south of the State Capitol building. 

“We have 16 different kinds of bagel…” 

Yousif says since the recession hit, business has been slow and she’s had to layoff an employee. 

“I am down 35%. I don’t have any worker anymore. I just have my daughter to help me now.” 

She’s been at this location for seven years and says most of her customers are state workers…who won’t be at work on Friday. 

“Every customer I asked said ‘we’re not coming.’ Probably I will open to see how bad it is. It’s not fair…it’s not fair.”    

Another small business owner who doesn’t think the furloughs are fair is Madhu Prasad. She owns a small deli and yogurt store called Tootsie’s, just across the street from the Capitol where state workers can grab a quick bite.  

“Lunch time, breakfast, afternoon yogurt time.”

Prasad blames the recession for a 60% drop in her business…and says she was hoping things would rebound this year…until it was announced state workers would be furloughed. 

“They’re the only ones that have a stable job, we were expecting. So, it’s going to be hard.” 

Prasad says she’s hopeful that the governor and state lawmakers will come up with a budget plan soon and end the furloughs as soon as possible.