return

Despite construction’s return, SF’s home improvement industry languishes

Citywide

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Photo: Photocapy/Flickr

As San Francisco hits the three-month mark of sheltering in place, residents have found plenty of new ways to pass the time — including working on projects around the house.

That’s mostly been good news for local hardware stores, which have seen an uptick in sales related to household projects. But for other small businesses in the home improvement industry, the shift has come at a cost.

Spring is normally the busiest season for Tom’s Painters, a team of Sunset District-based residential painters led by the sibling team of Tom and Maria da Silva. 

At the beginning of March, the company was working at full capacity. But when the mayor’s March 17 shelter-in-place order required non-essential businesses to shut down, work came to a halt. 

The company’s team of residential painters were used to stepping into people’s homes on a daily basis. But even

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Mastercard sees spending return as economies open after coronavirus gloom

By Noor Zainab Hussain

(Reuters) – Mastercard Inc <MA.N> said it expects consumer spending to gradually return to “pre-COVID” levels as people start using their cards again on clothing and domestic travel with countries easing lockdown measures that have brought the world to a standstill.

The world’s second-largest payment processor on Wednesday reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and said it has started seeing early signs of spending levels stabilizing.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has shut down large parts of the global retail industry as stores remain shut and shoppers stay at home to avoid catching the highly contagious illness.

The outbreak has also hammered the global economy, pushing companies to layoff employees by the millions. That, in turn, could weigh on credit card issuers as more people default on their payments.

“We believe we are currently in the stabilization phase in most markets. The next phase is normalization, where governments gradually

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