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California restaurants say 30% to close without state aid

The California Restaurant Association says directives that have closed sit-down dining rooms around the state have nearly decimated the industry.

LOS ANGELES — California's restaurant industry, hit hard by restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus, is warning that 30% of its businesses could close permanently without help from the state. 

In a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom sent Friday, the California Restaurant Association says directives that have closed sit-down dining rooms around the state have nearly decimated the industry.

Jot Condie, CRA CEO, said in the letter that Gov. Newsom took "necessary stesp to protect the public health", however, those steps also meant the "near decimation of our state's restaurant industry."

In the letter, Condie explained that the industry employs 1.4 million food service workers statewide and that a majority of restaurants were independently owned.

"Not withstanding the federal action [federal stimulus bill], unless there are bold measures taken by the state, we are likely to lose 20-30 percent of Californian’s restaurants .Permanently," Condie wrote.

A delay in planned minimum-wage increases and a postponement in property and other tax payments were among nine proposals the group sent to the governor.

The CRA said placing the minimum wage increase on hold would help mitigate the damage from the coronavirus on the industry.

RELATED: Why California restaurants can't take the heat from another $1 minimum wage hike

The California Labor Federation says it would strongly oppose any effort to roll back scheduled minimum wage increases.

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