Downtown San Jose, home to major tech companies including Adobe, Cisco and Zoom, is struggling as these companies continue to allow workers to telecommute, San Jose Spotlight reported.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic last year and now the Delta variant, businesses sent their workers home, and continue to allow them to work remotely, at least some of the time. This means a loss of foot traffic in San Jose, hurting downtown businesses, such as bars and restaurants.

Cisco, for example, allows employees to work remotely full time or split their time between telework and in-office work. Adobe has adopted a hybrid approach, allowing workers to telework half of the time.

Google, which brought an estimated 20,000 jobs to downtown San Jose, is allowing 20 percent of employees to work from home, with 60 percent of staff on site a few days a week and 20 percent in new office locations, the publication said.

A spokesperson for the city’s office of economic development told San Jose Spotlight that approximately 35 to 40 percent of San Jose’s 60,000 businesses may have closed during the pandemic.

A $1.17 million U.S. federal grant has been earmarked to support small businesses hurt by the pandemic, the publication said.

Derrick Seaver, president of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, said businesses have reported dramatic drops in revenue because of remote work.

“We had conversations with numerous small business owners who were detailing 70-80 percent of pre-pandemic revenue loss, and that listed work from home policies as a key cause of this drop-off,” Seaver told the publication. “We turned the corner on COVID, but we are not back to pre-pandemic rates by any stretch of the imagination.”

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