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Business slows for families amid COVID-19

Small businesses of PRHS families face little to no business during quarantine


Julie and Korey Smeltzer stand in front of their auto repair shop “Smeltzer’s Long Hair Car Care.” 2505 Theatre Dr

A slowed economy from the COVID-19 statewide pandemic has parked itself at Smeltzer’s Long Hair Car Care and many local businesses, often resulting in few customers or temporary closure. Many ‘non-essential’ businesses have shut their doors temporarily due to a March 19 statement by California Governor Gavin Newsom ordering the closure of “all dine-in restaurants, bars and clubs, gyms and fitness studios” (CNBC News). Smeltzer’s Car Care has remained open as auto repair is deemed ‘essential’, yet a loss of income persists even for essential businesses like Smeltzer’s as customers practice social distancing. The auto repair shop is owned by Julie and Korey Smeltzer, parents of Paso Robles High School (PRHS) senior Tatiana Smeltzer

“We’re fortunate because we can still get customers, but we’ve noticed a steady decline since last week (interview conducted April 1); we even took last Friday off because we didn’t have any appointments. It’s just been a lot slower than usual because of either the restrictions [of the state-wide lock down] or that [customers] don’t have to drive to work anymore or they’re not allowed to go on a vacation. Less driving means the less repair that’s going to be necessary,” Julie Smeltzer stated. 

“Bronco Burger”, owned by the Adames. 1925 Golden Hill Rd.

Other businesses in Paso Robles have not had the opportunity of staying open during the lock down. Bronco Burger and Tacos Durango are two family owned restaurants forced to temporarily close their doors. Bronco Burger is owned and operated by the Adames, who opened the restaurant in July 2008. PRHS junior Javier Adame often works in the restaurant with his parents and three sisters. 

“Because of the virus we thought it would be best if we closed [the restaurant] and waited. It hasn’t really affected us [thus far], but probably will after the pandemic is over,” Javier Adame said. 

The Rendons were set to open Tacos Durango shortly before the pandemic started. Their previous restaurant, which they opened August 2018, closed down a year later in Dec. 2019 due to an expired lease. Tacos Durango was the next restaurant the Rendons would operate, now with the help of a business partner, yet the lock down prevented its opening and stifled the income of PRHS junior Raul Rendon’s family. 

Junior Raul Rendon, a
member of the family that owns Tacos Durango in Paso Robles.

“My dad didn’t have money saved before this all started so now he has to [remain] closed for a long time. He found someone that had money to make a restaurant with and they were in the process of opening, but that isn’t going to happen until things settle. Essentially, my parents have no job as of now,” Raul Rendon stated.

Future location of “Tacos Durango” owned by the Rendons. 1495 Creston Rd

California is providing assistance to businesses during this time of economic stagnation. The city of Paso Robles has listed “interest free deferral of sales/use tax, Federal small business Stimulus

program, 90-day extension on business filings, and the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program” ( as accommodations being made for businesses to help them recover from a slowed economy.

As another measure to aid small businesses, President Trump signed the CARES act on March 27, “which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses”(, US Small Business Administration). 

Economic outlook from researchers and government authorities like the Congressional Research Service (CRS) predicts that uncertainties regarding the effects of COVID-19 on the economy are “ fueling perceptions of risk and volatility in financial markets and corporate decision-making” ( The CRS estimated on April 10 that “the virus could trim global economic growth by at least 0.5% to 1.5%, but could rise to 2.0% per month if current conditions persist” ( 

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