Not all small businesses survived the COVID lockdown, but some owners are optimistic for the future

As New Jersey continues to reopen from the COVID-19 shutdowns, many may notice that not all businesses in the state have survived.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2020, 1:34 AM

Updated 1,387 days ago

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As New Jersey continues to reopen from the COVID-19 shutdowns, many may notice that not all businesses in the state have survived.
Over in Red Bank, not all businesses that were allowed to reopen did reopen. Businesses like some bakeries or restaurants did not garner enough business over the last few months and had to shut down permanently. Others have delayed their openings a bit longer.
Rick Giambastini had just opened City Barn Country Penthouse two weeks before the lockdown forced him to close.
“We moved from Holmdel in February and transitioned here, had the grand opening sign up and as we were coordinating with local officials to do a photo op and kick the whole thing off officially, we had to shut down,” he says.
Many businesses were able to still operate online. But Giambastini says that there are others who still like the experience of shopping in a store.
“It's one thing to shop online. But a lot of people want to touch it. You have to smell it. You have to touch it. Even just little knickknacks,” Giambastini says.
He says that he is confident that pent of demand and more foot traffic from the town's decision to turn Broad Street into a pedestrian plaza a few nights a week will boost a rebound in the business.
Across the street, Nick Napoletano said his restaurant Ce la Vie and two other businesses are optimistic, even if business is slow.
“I think it will be fine. I think once we get the indoor seating back, which is really important,” he says. “It has to be 100%. It can’t be 25%. We run at 100%. I open that door, my electric [bill] is 100%, my gas is 100%, my rent is 100%.”
Small business owners say that they will bounce back. Big-box stores and shopping malls impacted them once before, but they say that they keep going strong. They say that they hope town residents will mask up and shop local.


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