Columbus small businesses looking to return to normal amid pandemic

Columbus small businesses looking to return to normal amid pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Businesses across the country have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have come face-to-face with the tough decision to close their doors.

The same goes for some businesses in the Chattahoochee Valley. According to Ed Wolverton, president of Uptown Columbus, a few businesses in the Uptown area didn’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cantina and the Tap being the latest.

“It has been quite a challenge for our businesses in our entire community,” said Wolverton. “In the same token, we have faired very well when you look at the bigger picture. Of course bars and nightlife were ones that were definitely impacted because of the pandemic.”

According to Breda Gleeson, the owner of Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, she was forced to make the tough decision to close down her bar because of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Now, she’s hoping to reopen her doors to the public soon. Gleeson’s pub has been closed since March of last year. She says she did not want to reopen until the COVID-19 vaccine could be widely distributed.

“I’m hoping that I can start to roll out to open within the next four to six weeks or four to eight weeks.” said Gleeson. “Which was a bar, you know, socializing with alcohol and even though it was a restaurant as well, it primarily is a pub. Safety first before money.”

About a mile or two up the street, Michael Maldonado didn’t quite close Midtown Coffee House, but he definitely felt the impacts of COVID-19. The Paycheck Protection Program loan helped Maldonado keep his employees on board while they weathered the storm brought upon by the pandemic.

“We got hit really hard in March and April timeframe to the point where we had to get the PPP,” said Maldonado. “We took a little bit of a hit doing that, but our employees kind of make our business. So, we knew we had to continue to pay what they were getting before. We were fortunate enough not to let anyone go. March was our busiest month since we’ve been open for seven years.”

Business owners say they hope to get back to normal operations and fully bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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