Gilroy Bowl and Scotty's Restaurant has closed after 53 years. Photo: Erik Chalhoub
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We thought we would’ve had more time to lace up the slippery shoes, choose the perfect-sized and weighted ball, and hit the lanes for a few final frames.

But as the closure of Gilroy Bowl and Scotty’s Restaurant showed, time is elusive during life under Covid-19.

Gilroy’s last bowling alley shut its doors permanently on Nov. 16 after more than five decades, a month earlier than planned. Originally slated to close Dec. 20, it abruptly shut down after the state moved Santa Clara County into the most-restrictive “purple tier” of its Covid-19 reopening framework, which prohibits indoor operations for many businesses.

Small businesses such as Gilroy Bowl are the heart and soul of their communities, places where memories are made and city pride is formed. Too often, though, we take them for granted, unaware that their doors may shut at a moment’s notice.

Covid-19, however, has further opened our eyes to the struggles these mom-and-pop establishments face, which have been exacerbated by the constantly moving targets of this public health crisis.

About 60 percent of all businesses across the nation that have closed during the pandemic have not reopened, according to Yelp’s Economic Impact Report. In addition, 1 in 5 small employers that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans still anticipate having to lay off workers in the next six months, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Let’s not take our small businesses for granted this holiday shopping season.

Purchase a book (or three) at BookBuyers downtown, grab some garlic barbecue sauce at The Garlic Shoppe, or stock up on bottles from any of the fantastic local wineries.

Starting Nov. 28 and running through most of December, various downtown businesses will host a scavenger hunt to encourage foot traffic. Take the family for a fun weekend activity, follow all the health safety guidelines and teach the next generation the importance of shopping locally.

Gilroyans can also “save their fave” by purchasing gift cards from local restaurants or other businesses at

Many complain that there is “nothing” to do in Gilroy. We disagree. But if we don’t support what we do have now, then the naysayers will be correct in the very near future.

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