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Coronavirus Event Cancellations Mean Big Financial Losses For Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The cost of cancellations due to the coronavirus is huge for Sacramento.

March Madness games alone would have generated millions of dollars. Many businesses said they're looking at a long battle ahead and that things are starting to get very quiet.

"Kings game canceled, season suspended, and I'm thinking, what's going on?" said Danny Johnson, who owns Danny's Mini Donuts in Old Sacramento. "That hit me hard and I came in this morning thinking, this is serious."

For Johnson, the coronavirus got very real, very quickly. His popular donut shop in Old Sac was eerily empty Thursday afternoon.

"It's been slow in here today. I've had the two slowest days I've ever had in years here," he said.

He and dozens of other business owners count on the St. Patrick's Day Parade every year for extra business, but it was also canceled this weekend.

READ: Sacramento City Leaders To Vote On Coronavirus Emergency Declaration, $1M Relief Plan For Small Businesses

The cost of coronavirus does not discriminate and the numbers are pretty shocking. The St. Patrick's Day Parade would have generated about $200,000 for businesses. No March Madness games at Golden 1 Center is a $5 million dollar loss for Sacramento.

"It's gut-wrenching to see some of those events be canceled, but I can certainly understand that's the right thing to do at this point," said Scott Ford, the District Operations Manager for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

Ford said local businesses need customers now more than ever.

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"This is a really important time and I would hate to see all the progress we've made take steps back because of something like this," he said.

The owner of Celebrations Party Rentals said he's gotten about 10 event cancellations every day since Monday. That translates to about $1 million lost and 250 hourly workers with no jobs.

The numbers are a harsh reality. Small businesses will need to stay resilient.

"But I'm optimistic, the glass is half full, we'll bounce back," Johnson said.

With no big events on the horizon in Old Sacramento, the goal for managers right now is to get shoppers out to them. The parking will be free this weekend because it had already been purchased for the parade that's not happening. There will also be several hand sanitizing stations set up around the area, to try and ease concerns.

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