How are businesses doing during the pandemic?

Businesses trying to survive impact of COVID-19

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Shutdowns, curfews, new guidelines and restrictions. Local businesses have had plenty to deal with during this pandemic, but many are still standing strong despite these difficult times.

The restaurant industry has taken a huge hit during the pandemic, collapsing almost overnight.

But Le Fresca in downtown Birmingham is beating the odds.

“Actually, I think for me, as a business owner, it’s helped me out to learn more things. My menu is on a piece of paper, so I can change the menu pretty much every couple of days, so I’m keeping my menu interesting,” said Owner of Le Fresca Italian Restaurant, Marco Butturini.

He said keeping his restaurant afloat has been tough during this pandemic.

The bar, which normally seats 20, now only has eight stools. The number of tables cut from 14 to seven.

“The support of people downtown has been amazing. So, in one way we suffer, but we compensate with reopening inside. That helped everybody and helped me to maintain my people at work,” Butturini explained.

“Business may be a little busier now and higher numbers than right before the pandemic,” said Shoefly Owner, Meg Roebuck.

A women’s clothing boutique in Homewood was just gearing up for Easter, Mother’s Day and graduation season when COVID-19 hit.

Shoefly had to shut down for several weeks, but it’s getting back some of its lost revenue.

“I don’t know. I think people were so isolated and in their homes for so long…and the people that are out right now are…they’re wanting to shop. They’re looking for things. They’re ready to be out and about,” Roebuck said.

Both businesses have made other adjustments during this pandemic, like adding hand sanitizing stations and doing more deep cleaning.

Shoefly has also changed what it’s selling, adding more lounge wear and decorative face coverings, while Le Fresca is encouraging reservations.

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