Credit: Jamie Araki/Canyons News
Credit: Jamie Araki/Canyons News

Panic buying has caused a great inconvenience for people all over Santa Clarita. With residents hoarding goods and the Coronavirus continuing its climb, finding basic necessities at the grocery store has become more and more difficult. 

However, while most may not be able to find needed items including toilet paper, napkins, gloves and cleaning supplies, small business owners are having an even more difficult time finding what they need to keep their business afloat. 

Neal Scott, owner of the local brunch spot, Nealie’s Skillet is forced to go shopping daily. Even though he went from only shopping once a week to once a day, he still thinks there is enough to go around if people don’t hoard food. 

“The supermarkets are really doing their jobs and I think, you know, the product is there,” said Scott. 

Scott also thinks that if we were to adapt to buying other foods when the items people want aren’t available, it can make it easier for the future of social distancing. 

Scott is struggling with how many foods in stores are now limited. When he needs a big order of chicken and a local store only allows one package, he has to shop at multiple stores for the essentials.

And while Scott worries about the limited items, small business owner Eric Guerrerro, who runs The Hidden Havana Cuban Cafe, is worried about not having anything at all. 

“I need white rice and black beans and I need it in bulk, and unfortunately there is nothing left on the shelf” said Guerrero fighting back tears. 

Guerrero has to drive out of Santa Clarita to Van Nuys or Los Angeles to buy beans, bananas and other necessities. Since the residents outside of Santa Clarita are also overbuying, it means with the long drive, Guerrero has to wake in the predawn hours  just to get a head start. 

However, waking up early is the least of Guerrero’s problems. 

“Big restaurants are buying 1,000 pounds of dried beans when I’m trying to buy 100 pounds and there’s nothing for me there,” said Guerrero. 

After all the small businesses have been through during this pandemic, Scott and Guerrero have some tips for getting through this:

Buy for the week, don’t be wasteful and be considerate of your community.

Canyons News reporter Josh Erenberg contributed to this report.

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