California Small Business Owners Suffered During COVID, But Many Don’t Blame Newsom

Andrew McDowell, who owns With Love Market & Cafe in Los Angeles, says the recall election is a waste of money. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

Andrew McDowell, who owns a cafe in downtown Los Angeles, says the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom is a waste of time and money.

It’s not that he’s a big fan of Newsom. It’s that Newsom is up for reelection next year, so why spend the time and money now?

McDowell says the $276 million to hold the Sept. 14 election should be spent instead on grants for small businesses that are struggling. “If we were running California as a business, we would not be wasting these kinds of funds on these things that truly are not going to impact the bottom line long term.”

Even though his business suffered during the COVID-19 shutdowns, McDowell also cuts Newsom some slack on dealing with an unprecedented crisis. 

“We didn’t bring on a governor to bring us through a pandemic, but to run our normal day-to-day. Then they’re put into this furnace and we say, ‘Hey, you really didn’t do a good job,’” McDowell said.