Local businesses 'fighting tooth and nail' to stay open, keep employees during outbreak

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Cleburne Cafeteria on Bissonnet Street is on the brink of closure and may need to get a government loan.

However, owner Mickelis said he will fight tooth and nail to keep his family businesses alive.

So far the restaurant has survived two fires and Mickelis said this is just another disaster he is trying to avoid.

The cafeteria remains open for business despite the coronavirus pandemic but it hasn't been the same recently.

"I think the frustration is we have all had to close our dining rooms and rely solely on take-out and delivery," said Mickelis. "For us that's only 10 to 15 percent of our overall sales, so you do the math. We are down 80 percent."

He refuses to furlough his 37 employees, so he's waiting to get financial assistance from the government.

Other small businesses are also doing what they have to for the sake of their families.

Just a couple of miles down the road from Cleburne, the new business owner of Flower and Cream decided to close entirely until May to keep his staff and family safe.

"It took me almost a week to make that decision," said the owner. "I've been thinking about it, but wasn't sure I was going to do it."

The community has been very supportive by buying pints and scoops.

He's delivering ice cream himself until Friday.

Loyal customers have promised him they will be back when he reopens.

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