ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Malls, shopping centers, small businesses, and office buildings around the state are closed for the next two weeks and restaurants are limited to carry out and delivery with no indoor or outdoor dining. Some businesses say they’re feeling the pain of more closures.
Restaurants across the state are already furloughing employees during the shutdown. At Tomasita’s in Albuquerque, they’re down to just two servers and two kitchen staff to handle carry out and delivery orders, but so many more rely on that steady paycheck.
“They have no source of income. Most of my employees live paycheck to paycheck and some live day to day on tips,” said Dolores Welk-Jack, a manager at Tomasita’s. “The governor should have put something in place, knowing she was going to shut down, just so the employees have something.”
Tomasita’s says while they offer delivery during this time, many providers take up to 30-percent of the check — not leaving a lot for the employees who rely on every dollar made. Between the three locations of Sadie’s of New Mexico, they’ve had to furlough about 60 workers because there’s not enough work, limited to carry out and delivery only.
“Most of them want to come back to work, unfortunately, we don’t have that much work when we’re down to just curbside and carry out. When dine-in is shut down, it’s very difficult to keep the employees,” said William R. Stafford, one of the owners at Sadie’s. “When you start with a certain amount of employees and the next thing you know, you’re down to a certain amount, that’s really been hard on them. We’re doing everything we can to keep our employees safe and also employed.”
Across town, it’s also quiet at shopping centers, with retail stores at Coronado Center and ABQ Uptown closed and parking lots almost empty. All of the local businesses say they do think this is going to last longer than two weeks and that many small businesses won’t be able to bounce back.
“A lot of these small businesses aren’t going to survive this. They’re just not,” said Stafford. The earliest businesses could re-open in the state is after Nov. 30. It will be based on a county-by-county basis and how their infection rates are doing.
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