Local small businesses face closures due to Covid

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 7th, 2021).

Central Florida has faced a total of 1,325 business closures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these local businesses include Victorio’s, Blue Jasmine, 1,000 Degrees Pizza, and more. Although there havebeen tons of businesses that have permanently or temporarily closed, there have also been tons that survived.

“Businesses that remained open during the pandemic were able to still make an income, unlike others who were forced to shut down. Although staying open could help businesses stay financially stable, they risked the health of their employees and customers coming in,” Lauren Eldert, a sophomore at Oviedo High School.

When the pandemic began, only necessary stores remained open such as grocery and convenience stores. This was enforced in an effort to protect the health and safety of both workers and customers. Due to this, the government paid many employees who were unable to work during this time. They also put up many safety guidelines to help minimize the spread.

“In order to make sure that businesses can remain open, I think all customers should wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and maintain 6 feet of distance. We also need to be patient and understand that a lot of the businesses are short staffed and dealing with their own experiences with Covid,” Mrs. Kameraad explained.

Many people were afraid to go out because their chances for catching the virus would increase. This caused many people to quit their occupations, leaving many businesses short staffed. The mandations stated above, as well as others, were enforced in an effort to make the workplace a safer place for everyone and to attempt to put a halt to employees quitting.

Although many businesses have remained open, many have permanently shut down. This had an impact on everyone in some way, as their favorite places to go were gone forever. When a student was asked about her thoughts on her beloved shops being shut down, this is what she said.

“Sweet Tomatoes closed because of COVID-19. It made me really upset because I loved their buffet style food. It had a very friendly environment and I will miss it a lot,” said Molly Connell, a junior at OHS.

Every business was affected and is continuously being affected by this tragedy in their own, unique ways. Sweet Tomatoes is just one of thousands of shops that didn’t survive this virus outbreak. This is because of the government mandates of being prohibited to leave homes and several other factors. Because of this a majority of businesses did curbside pickup, home delivery, or online orders. ecause Sweet Tomatoes was a smaller, more local business, they were unable to financially support themselves.

If we all do our part in obeying the rules, then we can become a safer, healthier nation. Also, by doing this, businesses will be able to get back on track and thrive.