Calhoun County businesses express COVID-19 related anxieties

Calhoun Co. business owners nervous

CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - On this “Takeout Thursday,” business owners in Calhoun County are expressing anxiety over what COVID-19 could do to their businesses.

Many restaurants, such as Effina’s and Heirloom Taco in Jacksonville, closed their dining rooms even before Governor Ivey’s order Thursday and began offering takeout and curbside service.

That was the case on "Takeout Thursday," which encouraged diners to order from local restaurants.

However, a survey by the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce shows nervousness from business owners.

14.6% said it could put them out of business, and 12.5% say they’ve temporarily closed their doors, as Betty’s Bar-B-Q, the 19th Hole, Heroes and Number One China Buffet, all did.

"Closed--stay healthy--see y'all soon," says the sign at Betty's Bar-B-Q that usually advertises the meal of the day.

37.5% each say it will either significantly impact their finances, or that they're confident they can weather any business downturns. 31.3% say they will continue to pay wages to employees who are off work for quarantine or illness and will allow them to use vacation time or sick leave to self-quarantine.

WBRC reached out to the chamber for more comment. We were referred to chamber president Larry Deason, who was not available for comment.

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