The announcement of the impending shutdown of all 371 99 Cents Only stores has set the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors into urgent action, aiming to support the thousands of employees about to face job losses. At the forefront is Supervisor Janice Hahn, who is deeply concerned about the workers’ plight and is actively working to ensure the county provides them with the necessary aid during this challenging time.

“The abrupt closure of the 99 Cents Only stores is a huge blow to the loyal employees who’ve invested their time and energy into these outlets,” Hahn stated, her voice laden with empathy. “But I want them to know that Los Angeles County won’t leave them high and dry. We’re committed to standing beside them and offering the support they need to get through this tough period.”

The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a motion put forth by Hahn, which calls for a comprehensive report from the county’s Economic Opportunity and Consumer and Business Affairs departments. This report, to be delivered within 60 days, will outline the various ways the county can offer financial assistance and other forms of support to the impacted employees. It is a testament to the Board’s proactive approach to addressing the needs of the community during times of crisis.

The announcement of the closures, which came from the Commerce-based operators of the stores on Thursday, sent shockwaves through the communities served by the 99 Cents Only stores across California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. Interim CEO Mike Simoncic expressed the profound difficulty of the decision, citing the numerous challenges the company has faced in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demands, and economic pressures.

As liquidation sales began on Friday, marking the end of an era for the company that has been a fixture in the community since 1982, a glimmer of hope emerged in the form of Mark J. Miller, a former president of Big Lots and the original Pic ‘N’ Save brand. Miller has expressed his intention to assemble a group of investors, including former 99 Cents Store executives, to explore the possibility of acquiring the 143 Southern California stores. His plan involves temporarily closing the stores after the going-out-of-business sales conclude and then reopening them with a renewed focus on the “treasure hunt” experience that made the stores so beloved by customers.

While the fate of the 99 Cents Only stores remains uncertain, the unwavering support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors serves as a beacon of hope for the affected employees. The forthcoming report will provide a roadmap for the county to offer tangible assistance, both in the short-term and long-term, enabling these workers to weather the storm and secure new employment opportunities.

The closure of the 99 Cents Only stores is not just a loss for the employees but also for the communities they have served for decades. These stores have been more than a place to find affordable goods; they have been a part of the fabric of the neighborhoods, offering a unique shopping experience and fostering a sense of community.