Small biz owners still frustrated by lingering lockdown effects: ‘All they’ve done is destroy a lot of businesses’

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American small business owners who suffered devastating ramifications because of the lockdowns imposed during the start of the COVID pandemic remain frustrated to this day, especially given the latest findings that the lockdowns had barely moved the needle on preventing COVID deaths.

While it’s true the lockdowns ended a while ago in most states, the after-effects still linger nationwide, particularly in the bar/restaurant industry.

One bar owner, Joseph Tota of the national chain Tapville, said that “he had to close his business during periods of the pandemic and had to temporarily lay off some employees because there were no customers,” according to Fox Business Network.

“He said that a ‘significant’ amount of money was lost during the pandemic, adding that there needs to be controls put in place so another government shutdown of businesses doesn’t happen again,” Fox Business reported Saturday.

His pain is shared by many, particularly those in the blue states that’d most eagerly embraced lockdown policies:

Citing data from the National Restaurant Association, a firm known as ECBM Insurance Brokers and Consults recently reported that “more than 90,000 restaurants have closed temporarily or permanently due to the pandemic” and that “industry sales fell by over $240 Billion in 2020 alone.”

These losses are attributable to “mandates,” “poor employee retention” and, most notably, “chronic lockdowns.”

“National and state-specific regulations forced restaurants to close for weeks at a time, leading to a sharp drop in sales and eventually layoffs of employees. While other businesses were working out ways to keep their employees remote and safe, the restaurant industry had its hands tied. Curbside pick-up and no-contact delivery was a small stand-in, but couldn’t make up for the losses the industry faced,” the firm noted.

What makes matters worse, the firm added, is that the lockdowns effectively trained Americans to prefer takeout and delivery to dining in.

“To make up for the combination of fear and extended mandates, takeout and delivery became the norm. 68% of consumers say they are now more likely to purchase takeout from a restaurant than before the pandemic. While delivery is a good addition to a standard restaurant, it’s unlikely to cover the sales needed to stay open,” according to ECBM.

Tota isn’t happy with the aftermath.

“I think it’s frustrating, and I think, you know, the government officials who made the decisions to do lockdowns — particularly in certain states — I think, you know, they kind of owe it to businesses that they impacted with those decisions,” he told Fox Business.

“The government and the executive branch overreached their authority and kind of used the pandemic as kind of an excuse to do that. But I think there needs to be more in the future controls so this doesn’t happen again,” he added.

California resident Tina Van Curen, the owner of Autobooks-Aerobooks, concurs.

“The whole idea of the lockdown is completely senseless. I mean, all they’ve done is destroy a lot of businesses and threw a lot of people out of work,” she told Fox Business.

As evidence, she pointed to the recent Johns Hopkins University study that found that the economically devastating lockdowns that occurred in the spring of 2020 barely moved the needle on preventing COVID deaths.

It’s a “completely logical” conclusion, she said.

Yet, to this day, restrictions of one kind or another still remain in many blue state communities, though they are slowly being rolled back. But even then, Van Curen noted, it’s too late for so many businesses.

Keep in mind that, in addition to dealing with the ramifications of lockdown policies and restrictions, small businesses have also had to contend with the policies and economic management of current Democrat President Joe Biden.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” in November, small business owners Ashley Brown and Ruel Joyner attributed their latest woes specifically to the Biden administration’s mishandling of the supply chain crisis.

“We are a gourmet cookie company so everything we use is premium ingredients and the prices have skyrocketed tremendously. Especially in the last few months. We are looking at things doubling in price. And some things just aren’t on the shelves anymore. It’s been really rough,” Brown, a cookie shop owner, said.

Joyner, a furniture store owner, added, “If we can do anything, I just want to ask Uncle Joe to just not give us any more help. Just stop.”

As in stop with the “recommendations and restrictions” ostensibly designed to protect people’s health (vaccine mandates for instance), stop with the exorbitant spending, and stop with the attempts at government micro-managing.

“Everything this guy does has been counter-intuitive to what has helped small business. We really just need them to stop helping,” Joyner said of Biden.

But the president didn’t listen.

Days later, his administration announced “reforms to increase equity and level the playing field for underserved small business owners,” i.e., the non-white ones.

And he himself continues to push for Build Back Better, a plan that critics have warned would exacerbate both inflation and the wider economic crisis.

Vivek Saxena


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