'Adapt and overcome': Grovetown businesses change operations due to safety orders

Monday, March 23, 2020
News 12 at 11 o'clock/NBC at 12

(Source: WRDW)

GROVETOWN, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) – Effective Tuesday, many businesses in Grovetown will close, and business owners will have to find a way to deal with the impact.

The city of Grovetown held a press conference to establish an order like that of Augusta, prohibiting certain services, stores and other places that are non-essential.

Many restaurants will close, only accepting drive-thru and take out orders. Body care services like nail salons and barbershops are closing their doors completely.

Now many of these businesses have a choice. They could either comply or potentially risk losing their livelihood.

For business owners like Armando Reyes -- this is the new normal. Reyes owns Armando’s Grill and Pizzeria, and he’s not used to his pizzeria being empty.

"We work from morning till night, my wife and I,” Reyes said. “We are trying to do our best to keep afloat."

Reyes has owned this business for 15 years and his wife owns a Mexican restaurant a few doors down. These restaurants put food on their table. 60 percent of their business is dine-in, but with the shutdowns, their business is going on a nearly six percent loss.

“We are tough,” Reyes said. “We are hard-working people. The marine corps told me tough up and adapt and overcome."

And he is -- recreating his business on the fly -- and using apps for takeout.

However, for another business owner, Edwin Solis, recreating is not an option. His barbershop, Caps Off Barbershop, is closing its doors for at least the next two weeks.

“We all got kids. We all trying to feed our family. We got to keep our business open,” Solis said.

And all of the other service businesses in the shopping center with Solis are going to get hit the same way.

“It's going to bankrupt small businesses,” Solis said. “If this goes on a long time, you're gonna have a lot of money coming out, but none coming in."

Customers won’t be coming in, but code enforcement and local officials will make sure these businesses are following the rules.

Businesses are just hoping it only lasts a couple of weeks.

“We've got funds in place to keep limping by. How long? I can't add,” Reyes said.

Columbia County is encouraging anyone who sees a business not complying with the rules to call 311.

While these businesses don't want to close, many owners and staff know it’s the right thing to do for the public.

More information about Grovetown's policies.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.