SoCal small businesses feel impact of Hollywood strikes on their bottom line

Rob Hayes Image
Saturday, July 15, 2023
SoCal small businesses feel impact of Hollywood strikes on bottom line
Strikes by the unions for actors and writers are impacting SoCal's small businesses that depend on film and TV workers.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Southern California businesses are already feeling the collateral pain from the simultaneous strikes by the actors and writers unions.

"I just want them to get back to the table and get serious," said Corri Levelle, owner of Sandy Rose Floral, which caters exclusively to film and television productions.

Levelle's outlook isn't so rosy these days. After struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, she is now grappling with a Hollywood production shutdown that has crippled her business.

"As far as revenue, I'm looking at losing about $100,000 a month," she told Eyewitness News. "I'm a small company. That's a lot of money."

Levelle's revenues began to plummet last December when she says studios started cutting back on productions ahead of contract talks with the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

When the writers went on strike, Levelle says she was forced to lay off more than half her employees. These days, her building is full of empty offices and silenced phones.

"This is affecting thousands of people," she said with a slight shake of her head.

People like Tom Malian, the general manager at Toluca Lake Dry Cleaners, who's been checking in with his neighboring business owners.

"I know all my friends, the coffee shops, the restaurants, the little food shops, all of them, they are affected. I know that for a fact," Malian said.

Malian's dry cleaners are in the same boat. He says the business barely survived the pandemic when few people were leaving home and the need for dry cleaning cratered.

About two-thirds of his revenue comes from film and television productions.

"My business is 70% from the studios," he said. "And that's not easy to come back."

Malian says he's already cut back his staff and store hours, and he fears more cutbacks could be coming if the strikes are not resolved.