Business owners fear more closures if COVID-19 cases keep rising

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Businesses fear closures if COVID-19 cases keep rising
Thousands of restaurants have already permanently closed since the pandemic, and owners are just trying to keep their head above water.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As COVID-19 cases rise, restaurants and businesses alike are concerned they could close if they don't get some type of help this winter.

Owners are watching the number of cases and are hoping they won't be impacted like they were when there was a spike in cases over the summer.

"The only way it'll get worse is if we get another spike, or our elected officials make a decision that we have to go to lockdown of some kind," said owner of Frank's Americana Revival, Mike Shine.

READ ALSO: Another Houston night spot is closing its doors

It's been a Houston honky tonk institution for nearly three decades and it could make a return in another location soon, according to the owner.

Shine said revenue at his restaurant on Westheimer, which he and his two sons have owned for eight years, is down 50% since last year. With discussions of another round of COVID-19 stimulus funds at a standstill, he said if businesses don't get help, it could spell trouble.

"That's been frustrating, watching Congress and their inactivity, their fighting, bickering back and forth and it can be disheartening," said Shine.

In Greater Houston, the Texas Restaurant Association said, of the approximately 12,500 Houston-area restaurants that were open before the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost about 14% with the March dining room closures and could see another 10 to 15% close if more relief doesn't come.

Meanwhile, other businesses across the area have already shut down.

"It's concerning and we do feel like this is going to be another big tipping point for us," said Melissa Stewart, Southeast Texas regional executive director for the Texas Restaurant Association.

Many places said they're prepared. Having already gone through some hard times over the summer, they're still waiting to see what happens. Restaurants and businesses told Eyewitness News help from the community and people coming in and dining out will certainly help.

"We're just trying to get our head above water," said Shine.

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