ATHENS, Ala – There’s no question, businesses want to get back into the swing things. However, “normal” will look different moving forward no matter what. Especially depending on location as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
In Athens, at Village Pizza, everyday has been a struggle.
“It’s only a matter of time. If we can’t get relief, if we can’t get help, we are going to have to shut our doors,” said Josh Torokh, the owner of Village Pizza.
It will take a significant amount of time for small businesses to get back on track. Several small shops in Athens expressed their desire to jump back into business. Others don’t think they could survive another economic shutdown, if things were to start opening.
Torokh worries about the health of his employees and potential legal issues should COVID-19 be linked to a business, let alone restaurant.
“We end up having to have tables spaced out. We end up only seating 25 people at once. Then all of a sudden we can’t flip tables as quickly as we can. Then all of a sudden we have people trying to check temperatures,” the list goes on says Torokh.
In Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle stressed patience.
“It’s going to start off very slow. Everybody’s got to realize that,” said Battle.
You can still expect to see COVID-19 spikes and hotspots says Battle, who is in constant contact with the mayors of the top 10 biggest cities in Alabama.
“As we do it. As we go through each of these phases, we will be monitoring to make sure we are not reigniting that virus,” said Battle.
Leaders at the local and federal level have a lot of work ahead as they reopen the economy. The owner of Village Pizza has one request.
“Please release more SBA funds. The payroll protection plan. Today, that ran out,” said Tarokh.