Business Owner Worries What Shutdown Means for His Industry
SARTELL -- As bars, restaurants and bowling alleys digest the latest news they must shut down for at least four weeks, many are wondering how they'll survive the latest blow to their businesses.
Jason Mathiasen owns Great River Bowl and Partners Pub in Sartell. He says they'll continue to offer curbside take out, but that will only help them avoid laying off employees before the holidays...
The more business we do with our take out, the more employees we can bring back and staff we can bring in. This is the hardest part of all of this stuff, ya know. We were all able to sustain the first time through. Everybody kind of went through it and we sucked it up, and we made it work, and we brought in staff and probably overstaffed just to keep people going. But, this time around everybody's really struggling.
Mathiasen says they were given only a few days' notice ahead of the minimum four-week closure for bowling and in-person dining. They're now left scrambling to figure out what to do with their food and alcohol inventory before it goes bad.
Mathiasen says what's really frustrating is not knowing whether they'll be thrown another small business life-preserver...
I don't think you'll find anybody in our industry that says we can survive without something like that right now. We're all surviving by our coattails. You know, at the end of the day we're looking at being shut down for four months out of the year with no revenue. With no life-preserver, like you said, we won't make it. We just can't. The numbers just don't add up.
Mathiasen says they've already lost all of their holiday party bookings and now with very limited revenue from curbside take-out orders, he just wants to know the government will step in again lend a helping hand...
The sooner that the federal government can get together and put something out there...even just making an announcement we're going to have something in place. That helps us to plan out and look down the road. Right now it's stressful, It's frustrating. It's scary.
Mathiasen says they're hoping to reopen in four weeks so they can resume bowling leagues and in-person dining, but he isn't so sure the governor will allow that to happen.