The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the economy, inevitably hitting low-wage earners and small businesses the hardest.
Yesterday it left a Sonora restaurant owner in tears for being forced to choose between continuing to pay his employees and saving his business.
Ramón Sesma Coronado employs 80 people in his two Chiltepinos restaurants and family-owned accounting firm in Hermosillo, but being forced to limit service to take-out and delivery has tanked his monthly sales to just 0.5% of what they were before the pandemic.
“It pains my heart to tell you all that this is the last time I’ll be able to pay you,” he says in a video posted to Facebook. With tears in his eyes he tells them that “it would be impossible to continue doing so because when this is all over … you’re not going to have a company to come back to.”
He sits at what appears to be a table at one of his restaurants, wearing latex gloves and a face mask, seemingly too emotional to look directly into the camera for much of the 14-minute video.
“Being a businessman in Mexico is one of the most afflicted and painful professions. You risk your capital, you take out loans, you mortgage your properties or what little you have, and you risk it all for a dream, to give people jobs,” he tells his employees.
Sesma, 50, expressed sadness at seeing 30 years of hard work come crumbling down in a matter of weeks, an event that he interprets as “a sign from God for us to wake up, because we were asleep.”
He must still cover expenses such as taxes, social security and electricity despite having almost no revenue coming in, a situation he describes as “unsustainable.”
He made a direct appeal to his employees toward the end of his discourse, asking them “What do I do? What do you all want me to do with the last bit of money I’ve got left? Should I pay taxes and social security, or should I pay you?
“These tears are not tears of weakness, they are of rage, of frustration. … If I keep running out of what I’ve got, you aren’t going to have anywhere to return to.”
Source: El Universal (sp)