California businesses face reality of electrical outages

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — All types of businesses, from hardware chains to coffee shops, are dealing with a new economic reality of electrical outages in Northern California.

Many struggled to keep their businesses open on the second day after the nation’s biggest utility Pacific Gas & Electric cut off power to more than a million people to mitigate the risk of wildfires as heavy winds sweep through.

Home improvement chains Lowe’s and Home Depot said their stores have been busy with people seeking generators, batteries and flashlights. But for many mom and pop outlets, it was even more of a struggle as they can’t rely on sophisticated distribution centers to keep restocking shelves. Plenty are turning to creative ways to serve customers like tabulating sales on scraps of paper.

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