FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – It’s been more than a week now since Governor Jim Justice forced all restaurants in the state to either close or switch to a carry-out-only option.
Since then, small restaurants across the state have either closed up shop or completely restructured their business. Jeffrey Toth, owner of the Wood Iron Eatery in Fayetteville, says that his business has suffered greatly since the order.
“We’ve been in this growing phase and two weeks ago it just came to a grinding halt. And we’re no longer growing, we’re actually declining now,” Toth said.
Toth mentioned that he’s so far lost 35% of his revenue, and half of his employees. Although he did say they would be welcomed back once the situation blows over.
“We would stay open as long as our employees were comfortable working and a few of them have backed out which we completely respect. And as soon as this is all sorted out, they come right back on.”
How soon things blow over is what’s on everybody’s minds right now, although there is no direct answer for when that is. And even after the pandemic ends, the economy will still have some issues.
Toth ultimately thinks that his business will do fine in the meantime, but it will definitely not be seeing the same results it used to any time soon.
“I do understand that everybody needs to eat all the time so we’ll definitely have some orders but I’m not anticipating the summer that we were anticipating three weeks ago.”
Eventually, restaurants will open back up and be back to business-as-usual. But the small businesses affected by this may never fully recover. Some experts say that three out of five small businesses that close in this time will never reopen.
However, President Donald Trump has previously stated that he expects things to be back to normal by mid-April in time for Easter, but at the same time, many experts believe the pandemic will last at least until this summer.