Blended response from San Francisco companies on influence of APEC summit

SAN FRANCISCOWith the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in San Francisco this year, the city is under heavy security.

San Francisco police officers posted on street corners, California Highway Patrol officers roaming the roads, and tall fences ringing Moscone Center.

While some San Francisco businesses have embraced the APEC summit with open arms, others have not.

“Overall, we’re pro-APEC. We are very pleased that it’s happening this week,” said Renato Geslani, manager of the Cole Hardware at 4th and Jessie streets, just a stone’s throw away from the summit.

The store is located inside a security perimeter, and Geslani hopes that won’t discourage customers.

“It’s hard to determine if somebody, like a regular customer of ours, will go through the hassle of going through the security checkpoint just to get that one light bulb,” Geslani said.

Dexter Lee owns Massage Envy around the corner. He says despite the fences going up over the weekend, business at the spa has doing well.

“Optimistic, but we’ll see,” Lee said.

Although he’s appreciative of the APEC attendees who’ve visited, Lee said he would still prefer locals.

SEE ALSO: Lasers to light up San Francisco during APEC

“Well, our model is based on memberships, so visitors won’t” necessarily sign up, he said.

Tony Sufi, a supervisor at Denny’s, expressed confidence that his business will not be significantly affected.

“We’re not worried, because of online orders, everything from DoorDash to Uber, so a lot of things that come,” Sufi said.

There’s also one major advantage: due to the fence, everybody will be vetted, he said.

“It’s really good, because everybody’s checked, here and over there, so there is a lot of security,” he said.

Jose Garcia, general manager of Lemonade restaurant near the Metreon, stated, “Definitely we get less customers. I’m not excited because it’s a hassle for everyone.”

He added, “Especially going through security to come to work, and not getting enough orders to fulfill because of these fences.”

Garcia and others say, for now, it’s a wait-and-see situation.

“I think it’s the first year, and people are getting scared. But they don’t know. They don’t know what to expect, like everything changes every day,” Garcia said.

Geslani said, “I’m kind of hoping the engineers will still come in and still need to service their guests, but we don’t know.”

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and www.facebook.com/henrykleefan.

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