North Carolina recently reported record-breaking days of COVID-19 cases. Gov. Roy Cooper announced a county alert map and warned that if officials on the local level do not take action, he will issue an executive order to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Local businesses are already preparing for another potential lockdown. Davidson Ice House has installed to-go windows to cater to customers that are hesitant to come inside the restaurant. It also expanded its menu offerings to include Thanksgiving dinner to-go.
At Bar Marcel, owner Kevin Jennings is thankful for every day that he is allowed to be open. But he said dealing with limited business hours, reduced capacities and potential closures has been frustrating and stressful. He has already reduced the number of his employees from 443 to 130.
According to Megan Gude, the vice of the Center City Partners at South End, the next few weeks will be critical for many local small businesses. To help them, Center City Partners has transformed Small Business Saturday to market-style holiday markets for four Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gude said all the events will be held outside and everyone will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing.