On the morning of May 22, 2020, Maureen McBride opened up her boutique in downtown Manhattan Beach, Tabula Rasa Essentials, for the first time in ten weeks.
Those ten weeks had been rough. McBride had endured many sleepless nights. The world had been turned upside down. The pandemic had launched its ravaging course that would claim millions of lives. Fear and uncertainty were in the air. For a small business owner like McBride, the worry for her own health and for those whom she loved was compounded by another concern. She had owned her business for twenty years, through economic ups and downs. But could it survive a global pandemic? McBride is also the president of the Downtown Business and Professional Association, so as she looked around and felt the eerie quiet among the formerly bustling small businesses along Manhattan Avenue, she wondered how many would make it through this pandemic.