San Francisco’s Flower Market Reels From Event Cancellations Aimed at Slowing Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO — At the normally bustling wholesale flower market in San Francisco, business has fallen so steeply since local governments started banning large gatherings on March 6 because of the coronavirus outbreak that vendors are comparing the situation to the Great Recession.

On Friday morning, Jose Guadalupe’s flower stall had dozens of bunches of rapidly wilting lilacs, at $20 a bunch. They were a special order for one of five events that were abruptly canceled days earlier. On Wednesday, typically the busiest day of the week, he took in just $450, down from the norm of at least $8,000.

“If this continues going, I don’t know what’s going to happen — there’s the mortgage, the rent here, my employees,” Guadalupe said on Friday, adding he couldn’t sleep the night before for thinking about the future. “And money goes so fast.”

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