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Fear of a second COVID-19 shutdown haunts small business owners as they work to get back on track

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 23:36:51-04

CLEVELAND — Coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to trend upward with 52,865 cases reported on Wednesday. According to state data, the number of cases across the state increased by 1,076 in just 24 hours. The same trend was reported on Monday with 737 new cases reported.

And business owners are concerned once again.

“As a business owner I’m terrified,” said Lindsay Smith, Owner of Flight Cleveland. "I’ve spent the past month and a half really, really considering every possibility and everything that we can possibly do to make sure that our experience with people is fun and relaxed and all things that we are at Flight Cleveland but also safe and comfortable."

Smith opened the Gordon Square wine shop and bar two years ago. After partially closing for the first time due to state COVID-19 orders, Smith welcomed back dine-in customers on Wednesday.

“We were doing well going into this and luckily I tend to be a very frugal person, so we were able to kind of go into the pandemic and the shut down somewhat comfortable,” Smith said. “It feels good to invite our customers who have been supportive for the past three and half months to come in and let us pour you a glass of wine,” she said.

Smith says while her customers and employees are happy to be back, it’s hard not to worry about more future restrictions or another possible state shutdown. Currently, there aren’t any plans to reverse the state’s staggering reopening. During a press conference on Monday, Governor Mike DeWine said he’d provide more information on whether that could happen.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” she said. “It’s a great responsibility to be a bar owner in the place. it’s even greater to do it during a pandemic when people’s health and safety is at risk.”

In the meantime, Smith and her team are focusing on getting back on track and enjoying being back in business.

“I do think that’s going to be a long road for us and I’m sure a lot of other restaurant and bar owners.”