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Businesses hopeful to welcome some Masters patrons in spring

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With at least some patrons being allowed in at the Masters this spring, it could be a little help for businesses that missed out last year.

But the owners we talked to are easing expectations because even we still don’t know exactly how many people will be coming.

Patrons and local officials are expecting to get an idea on Monday, but for now, knowing of any patrons at Augusta National will be a sight of hope for business owners all around.

“No matter who it is. If it’s just a few, it’s better than what we had last year,” Casey Johnson of Farmhaus Burger, said.

Johnson says it’s been a year of adjustments, and this announcement brings even more. He says they will be ready for anything and expects other restaurants to do the same.

“We prepare for a big influx of people. It’s better to more prepared than not,” Johnson said.

“Not knowing how many patrons is a big metric that we need to know,” Lloyd Van Horn, general manager of Partridge Inn, said.

Horn says the hospitality industry is preparing for the best and bracing for the worst.

“The hospitality industry in Augusta is like a bunch of brothers and sisters from different families. What affects us will affect others,” he explained.

And the same goes for homeowners. The Masters Housing Bureau is letting renters list their homes for both 2021 and 2022.

The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce says no matter the number of patrons, they expect restaurants and hotels to act responsibly and keep the community safe.

“I think we are fully prepared for the capacity patrons would bring,” Sue Parr said.

Parr, president of the chamber, says in the meantime the city is setting aside more than a million dollars in relief grants for small businesses.

“I can’t think of a better time that this is coming through the pipeline as businesses project out what lost revenue that might be,” Parr said.

The chamber says a website will be launched on Monday, where small businesses can apply to get relief funding. Each business can qualify for up to $15,000 dollars.

Find more information about the program by clicking here.

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