Small businesses struggle to open due to COVID-19

By Alan Collins | August 4, 2020 at 7:13 PM CDT – Updated August 4 at 7:13 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – As Congress continues to try to make a deal over a new stimulus package, small businesses in Alabama are still struggling to survive during the pandemic.

A Better Business Alliance survey showed as of July 24 the number of small businesses open in the Birmingham area was down more than eight percent compared to January 2020.

A number of small businesses are doing what they can to stay afloat. They just got back in business. Some were forced to shutdown again because an employee tested positive. While some look to next year for others it’s a day to day, week to week survival.

Soca Clothing in Homewood is back open. The store is doing busy, but owner Jeff Tenner will tell you it’s not what it has been in the past.

“I’m sick of the phrase the new normal but that is the new normal. We have supply issues in our industry. Most industries are suffering from that. It’s going to take while to get back to whatever normal is going to be,” Jeff Tenner said.

Five Bar in Lakeview is opened, but had to close again after one employee tested positive. This added to their struggle to return.

“I’ve always been a look ahead type of guy but now it’s week to week. I was planning to do late night here a big band party but now you can’t sale alcohol past eleven so I had to stop that,” Roy Pedroso, General Manager said.

The Small Business Administration in Alabama wants to help to advise small businesses on their next steps.

“We encourage folks to look at their cashflow. How much operating reserves they have if any? How much credit is available and determine what their needs are,” Tom Todt with SBA said.

Many small businesses are hoping some sort of federal help can come out of Washington DC. If you need help contact SBA or call 205-290-7101.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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