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Businesses Taking Leap Of Faith To Open New Stores Amid Pandemic Uncertainties

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The economic impacts of the pandemic are impacting all sorts of businesses throughout the Southland.

Despite many closure signs, some business owners are taking a leap of faith and opening up new storefronts.

Entrepreneur Jamie Story is one of the few launching his passion project, a new plant-based restaurant space on North Fairfax Avenue.

"It's a cafe market gallery on site, basically making burgers, fries, salads," Story

The all-vegan restaurant, Extra Market, opened last month in L.A.'s Beverly Grove area amid a backdrop of other nearby businesses remain boarded up due to coronavirus closures and as a result of violent clashes in the Fairfax Districts following public unrest in May over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Story said despite some challenges, he's still getting lots of orders from locals and business is doing well.

In Pasadena, the iconic Randy's Donuts is also opening up a new store. Owner Mark Kelegian says they are opening new stores in Costa Mesa and Torrance, despite some drop-off in business at his other drive-thru locations.

"I think it's important to get us back to some sort of normalcy not had in a long time," Kelegian said.

Pasadena leaders are hoping Gov. Gavin Newsom will give more guidance so other businesses can take additional steps toward reopening.

"Can you give us a timeline, tell us in this circumstance that these things will happen, and over the course of 2020 October 1, this will happen if these circumstances are met?" Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little said.

Meantime, coronavirus cases continue to rise across L.A. County and the state, but Kelegian is offering some advice to fellow business owners to take each day one step at a time.

"Try to be as patient as you can," Kelegian said. "Keep the faith. Don't give up hope. We will come back. Business will come back."

Gov. Newsom said on Wednesday that new guidelines for reopening different economic sectors throughout the state will be announced on Friday, which will include more detailed timelines, scope and expectations.


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