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Small Businesses Face the Greatest Uncertainty in the Era of COVID-19

The impact COVID-19 has left on the hospitality and restaurant industry is pretty unexplainable. This pandemic has put a major strain so severe on our industry due to social distancing, travel limitations, and the number of growing stay at home orders. Every day another state begins to shut down after just reopening, due to a spike in cases. Although, our whole industry has taken a major hit due to the pandemic, our small business face the greatest uncertainty of them all.

All of the states in our country have different protocols, depending on their Governor. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York have only been allowed to do outdoor dining. Miami which was open for dining is now being shut down completely, and only allowed to do take out and delivery. They went two steps forward and three steps back due to a spike in cases. The Governor of NJ, gave the green light to every restaurant across the state to reopen for July 2nd so these restaurants worked quickly and tirelessly hiring back staff. It’s really an uphill battle to even believe you will get 50% of your staff back when they are making guaranteed money on unemployment, for now.

Not only did they hire back their team, but they ordered food and liquor, enough to get them through a busy holiday weekend. Then, just two days before they were set to open, the Governor changed his mind and reversed his decision, all due to a spike in cases in New Jersey. Now, every restaurant had to lay off their staff once again. All of the food and liquor they just ordered all goes to waste.

Imagine being a business owner during all of this, and the restaurant you worked your whole life for is told they can’t open, after four months of being closed. Although, outdoor dining is a great and innovative way, what happens when it’s December and you can’t dine outdoors in New Jersey due to the change of weather? I applaud all of the businesses in New Jersey like Valentinas Trattoria Italiana, Girasole, and Vagabond, just to name a few. These businesses really got creative in making a swanky place with an amazing ambiance for their customers to dine at and enjoy, all while still being outside.

Image By Tim Mossholder

In Las Vegas, since reopening, we have seen an increase in cases which was known due to reopening the state. Small businesses here have gotten really creative in what they’re doing to generate business. The safety they have implemented is first and foremost. Many small businesses will take your temperature upon sitting. Some even have thermal scanners where you put your face up to the screen and it takes your temperature. The safety measures are being taken very seriously, which in times like these, it’s crucial. Especially if you want your place of business to stay afloat. Delivery platforms have been crucial for small businesses to join. If diners can’t come in, they must have the option to order take out. Many businesses have made it a number one priority to make sure they are on UberEats, Door Dash, Post Mates, etc. Restaurants have even taken it as far as selling their products, for example: meats, pasta, cocktail kits, anything they can to generate extra revenue. Many businesses, are doing everything they can just to break even and not loose money.   The worry is what’s to come for our industry and small businesses especially. Although outside dining has been ideal in places like New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the main fear is if these small businesses will be able to survive. We are now going on four months of being closed. Once, the weather takes a turn, outdoor dining won't be the answer. We can only hope that they can each find a way to thrive.

Being innovative and creative, are extremely important if you want to survive during these uncertain times.

Written By:

Giovanna Paolella

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