Hudson Valley business owners feel toll coronavirus is taking on bars, restaurants

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The decision to close every bar and restaurant in the tri-state area may prove to be sound public health policy, but it's already expected to take a terrible toll on the local economy.

It was last call for every bar and restaurant in the area, and places like Cantina Taqueria and Tequila Bar in White Plains are already gearing up for a major drop in business.

"We didn't think it was going to happen this fast so now we're just trying to figure out staff cuts, thinking if we should stay open just for deliveries so we're going to test it out," says John Solo, co-owner of Cantina Taqueria and Tequila Bar.

Solo says he believes he can stay open with limited staff for about two months.

Around 5% of his current business is takeout, and he's already looking at slashing staff in half.

The establishments can still provide takeout and delivery services and will be given the ability to sell carry-out alcohol.

But long-term that may not be enough.

"We're just trying to figure out maybe if this is just a way to keep some staff so we can pay some staff and keep them going," says Solo.

He says he hopes their margaritas and curbside service will keep the business afloat.

They aren't the only ones: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut's governors are limiting all social gatherings to 50 people or fewer. This means that all movie theaters, gyms and casinos will shut down.

In Dobbs Ferry, things have slowed to a halt at BurgerIM. The owner says he's seen a steady decline over the past two weeks, but things were practically empty Monday.

At New York Sports Club, they didn't even wait for the deadline to close -- customers were stopped from being let in at 3 p.m.

Small businesses financially impacted as a result of the coronavirus may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster loans of up to $2 million. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can't be paid.

Once the application is received, it can take 2-3 weeks for a decision on the loan.


 

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