From caterers to cowboy outfitters: Writers’ strike hits Hollywood economy

From caterers to cowboy outfitters: Writers’ strike hits Hollywood economy

LOS ANGELES, June 28 (RushHourDaily) – Pam Elyea’s prop house History for Hire used to receive an average of 53 requests per week for various props. However, since the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike began, the number of weekly orders has dropped to an average of 26. Elyea estimates that the company’s revenue has decreased by 60% and they are falling $100,000 short of meeting their monthly expenses.

Despite the strike, the expenses for Elyea’s staff, rent, and utilities continue. Elyea also mentions that things have become more expensive since the pandemic.

The strike is not only affecting prop houses like History for Hire but also other small businesses in Los Angeles and beyond. Florists, caterers, costume suppliers, and others have seen a decline in orders, further impacting their recovery from the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The duration of the work stoppage is uncertain, as no new talks are scheduled between major Hollywood studios and the writers. The writers are seeking higher pay and guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence.

If the SAG-AFTRA actors union also goes on strike when its contract expires, the impact of the strike will be even greater.

The number of permits issued for movie and TV filming in Los Angeles has decreased by 56% compared to a year ago, according to FilmLA.

Typically, there would be numerous scripted television projects in production for the fall broadcast season. However, as of June 18, there were only three projects with permits to film in the city.

Economists believe that it is still too early to fully assess the economic toll of the strike. However, the 100-day WGA strike in 2007-08 resulted in the loss of 37,700 jobs in California and cost the state $2.1 billion in lost output. It took months for the impact to become evident, as various businesses had to cut staff.

The previous strike also contributed to the Great Recession of 2007 through 2009, and California took longer than the rest of the United States to recover.

This time, businesses may be even more vulnerable, as many are still recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and do not have the reserves they had before the pandemic.

Many businesses have already laid off a significant portion of their staff. For example, NFP’s clients have laid off at least 35% of their employees.

Sassy Craft Services, which provides food and drink to sets, used to book about eight jobs per month. However, that number has dropped to about three. The owner, Danni Sapp, is now considering becoming a pilates instructor to diversify her income sources.

California’s Work Sharing Program is available to help companies avoid layoffs by reducing workers’ hours and having the state temporarily cover the fifth day.

Nonprofits like the Motion Picture and Television Fund are also providing assistance. They have received nearly 1,000 strike-related assistance requests, three times the normal number.

The strike is also affecting states like New Mexico, which have become popular filming locations.

Kowboyz, a vintage Western clothing shop in Santa Fe, relies on movies and television shows for 10 to 15% of its revenue. As productions have dried up during the strike, the owners have had to tighten spending and have not been able to fully restock inventory since the pandemic disruptions.

History for Hire has also reduced purchases and had to turn down a striking writer who wanted to sell her electronics.

The strike is having a ripple effect on the community, and businesses are interconnected.

Overall, the strike is causing significant challenges for small businesses and the full economic impact is yet to be determined.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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