Coronavirus lockdown in California forces business to flee the state

Many businesses will likely not survive another 'intense lockdown,' in the state, Nick Kershner warns

California’s new coronavirus shutdown is proving to be “very, very difficult” and is forcing a managed service provider and business IT support firm in Long Beach to move out of the state, the president of the small business said on Monday.

Nick Kershner, the president and chief technology officer of Matchless IT, told FOX Business on Monday that he is moving his business out of Long Beach, Calif., to Erie, Pa.

“The cost of living from the zip code we are operating in now to the zip code where we are going to be relocating is over 90 percent less expensive than Southern California,” Kershner said.


He added that the move “allows me to keep all of my employees on payroll and lower my expenses overall.”

He anticipates the move will happen in early 2021.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" earlier on Monday, Kershner said that the new restrictions are causing a “trickle-down” effect.

“This has affected our business because we serve almost every other business in every other industry and the ones that are being affected by the lockdowns,” Kershner said.

He stressed that as other businesses “get hit and they lose, it trickles over to us.”

Kershner made the comments four days after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the most restrictive order since he imposed the country’s first statewide stay-at-home rule in March. Starting Sunday evening, much of Southern California, the San Francisco Bay area and the Central Valley have been placed under a sweeping new lockdown in an urgent attempt to slow the rapid rise of coronavirus cases.

On Sunday, California– the nation’s most populous state – reported an increase of 28,795 coronavirus cases and 61 deaths, according to data provided by The New York Times.

The intensive care unit capacity in Southern California and Central Valley hospitals had fallen below a 15% threshold that triggers the new measures, which include strict closures for businesses and a ban on gathering with anyone outside of a household, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The new measures, which include the closures of all bars, hair salons, barbershops, casinos, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds, will remain in place for at least three weeks.

“I don’t know many businesses are going to be able to survive another intense lockdown like we’re in right now,” Kershner warned.

He stressed that local officials are not leading by example saying that “actions speak louder than words.”


He noted that judging by their actions, local officials don’t believe in their own edicts.

Kershner specifically pointed to a Los Angeles County supervisor who was recently caught dining outdoors at a restaurant in the state after voting in favor of a ban on outdoor dining – which most bar and restaurant owners and employees in the county oppose, saying it threatens their ability to earn a living.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl got an earful of complaints Saturday from protestors who are upset about the county’s ban. The demonstrators protested outside her Santa Monica home. Kuehl did not appear to be at home during Saturday's protest, which remained peaceful, FOX 11 reported.

Kershner said that Kuehl “goes out and says, ‘Outdoor dining is the most dangerous thing that you can do,’ votes to shut down outdoor dining and then immediately goes out to dinner afterwards.”

“None of it makes any sense and that’s, I think, the most frustrating part for people.”

He stressed that “not only does this not make sense, but I’m not getting paid at the same time and I can’t go to work, I can’t go out, I can’t visit friends."


The supervisor had supported the ban Nov. 24, helping it pass on a 3-2 vote.

“This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously,” Kuehl said at the time. “The servers are not protected from us, and they’re not protected from their other tables that they’re serving at that particular time, plus all the hours in which they’re working.”

Her visit that night, to a restaurant she has frequented, came on the eve of the ban taking effect. She claimed afterward, in an interview on local television, that she visited the restaurant in part to personally inform the owners about the ban, Newsweek reported.

"Kuehl has eaten at Il Forno Trattoria virtually every night for many years, and on the last night that it was permitted by the county health orders, she dined there al fresco taking appropriate precautions as recommended by the Department of Public Health," a Kuehl spokesperson told the outlet.

“The virus isn’t regional, but the pick and choose policies that these politicians put in place are regional,” Kershner said.


Fox News’ Dom Calicchio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.