The health officials were ordering Mr. Van Happen to close his business because he allegedly violated California's ban on outdoor dining. Mr. Van Happen asked the health officials if the government will pay his employees and his rent while his business is indefinitely closed.
Mr. Van Happen is hardly the only small business owner worried about how to pay bills during the lockdowns. Many small businesses operate on a narrow profit margin, so being forced to "temporarily" shut down or limit the number of customers they can serve is a virtual death sentence.
The lockdowns have already caused as many as 200,000 small businesses to permanently close. Lockdowns, by shrinking the number of employers, lead to long-term unemployment or lower wages for many workers.
While governments have terrorized small businesses, they have typically deemed the big chain stores "essential businesses" so they can remain open. The lockdowns are thus another government policy that gives big businesses a competitive advantage over their smaller competitors.
The benefits big businesses get from the lockdowns — including fewer competitors, more customers, and a job market with more workers competing for fewer jobs — may explain why many big businesses are not fighting the lockdowns. Instead, most big retail chains are requiring their workers and customers to wear masks. Many big businesses may soon deny service to those who refuse to receive a Covid vaccine.