Distanced learning causes a decrease in students visiting small businesses near the school


Clara Porto

The Oak Grove Market is located to the left of the Burlingame High School’s football field and was a popular place for students to visit after school.

Clara Porto, Staff Reporter

Small business owners in the Burlingame community and across the United States have been struggling with the impact of the pandemic. Not only has the fear of spreading the virus restrained many from going out, but the closing of schools and workplaces has made it less accessible for customers to purchase from small stores.  

Prior to the pandemic, various businesses in Burlingame benefited from the crowds of students that would go to the restaurants and shops near the school. However, since distance learning started, most students have not been able to go to Burlingame Ave’s businesses as often. 

“Before the virus, I would go after school to buy snacks with friends at places like the Oak Grove Market. Now, I don’t go as often since I am not at school during the day,” sophomore Ana Lunaparra said.

Oak Grove Market is a small business near the school in which many students would go to after class or sports. The owner, Steve Rich, is not seeing the same flow of students as before.

“Because BHS is [a] closed campus we didn’t see [students] during the school day, but as soon as they started getting out at like 2 p.m., we would get crowds, which obviously, that’s not happening now,” Rich said.

Overall, the closing of the schools has decreased the amount of students purchasing from these businesses near the high school. Fortunately, businesses have been seeing a new variety of clients, such as adults who have been working from home, which helps make up for the loss of student. 

“As an example, you know, with the high school not being here, we’re not getting nearly as many kids; but because a lot of adults are not going downtown to work or going anywhere, they’re around more. So it’s more or less of a balance in the amount of clients,” Rich said. 

Although it is not as accessible to go to these stores, such as the Oak Grove Market, as it was during past years of in-person school, it’s important to keep on supporting these small businesses in our Burlingame community in order to keep them open and flourishing.