Small businesses struggling to stay afloat during COVID-19 pandemic

Business

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  National surveys on how restaurants and small businesses are doing during the pandemic confirmed what many already feared.

The pandemic has taken its toll on restaurants and businesses throughout the state, especially Albuquerque’s Old Town. “We’re just trying to kind of survive as much as we can,” said Estephaninta Garcia, the manager of Covered Wagon. “It’s unfortunate that there have been so many businesses around that have had to shut their doors permanently. Luckily we’re blessed enough that we haven’t been forced into that position.” 

Garcia said at least five or six businesses have closed down permanently in the popular tourist area since March. Those businesses aren’t the only ones that had to close during the pandemic.

According to the New York Times 850,000 businesses across the country shut down permanently at the end of August.

Garcia said luckily her store hasn’t had to close or have any layoffs. She said business is down at least 40% from last year. She said they’ve already used their loans from the Paycheck Protection Program to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, according to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, at least 100,000 restaurants have already closed throughout the country. About 40% of owners surveyed believe they’ll be out of business in the next six months, without more government support.

Carol Wight, the CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association said they also did a survey just last month, with restaurants in the state and had similar findings. “Without federal relief, 30% of the restaurants would close within three months,” said Wight. “And another 30% on top of that will close within three to six months.”    

Wight said since March, there are at least 170 restaurants they know of in the state that have been permanently closed. Both businesses and restaurants said they’re also hurting because of the cancellation of Balloon Fiesta which is usually their busiest time of the year.  

It’s unclear if there will be more stimulus checks or financial aid from the government. President Trump tweeted Tuesday night he would sign a stand alone bill for stimulus checks of $1,200 for Americans.

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