Recent surge in cases impacting local businesses again

NOW: Recent surge in cases impacting local businesses again

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A local business who opened during the pandemic is now being impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases once again, but they're pushing to keep their doors open this time around.

Donte Shaw is the owner of Bantam Chicken & Seafood, a small business that opened just after Indiana’s shut down order during the height of pandemic back in April of 2020.

From feeling the impact of supply chain issues to grappling with staffing shortages, Shaw said he’s no stranger to adapting how he operates.

“Like anything else right now it’s really hard, but you just have to push through it,” he explained “Coming back from our week of vacation and the Holidays a few of our staff had to get out because of that, basically it runs into issues with what can we produce what can we put out.”

According to experts nearly 34% of small businesses nationwide are still closed because of COVID, with 49% of business owners unable to fill jobs. Something Shaw said he’s experiencing first hand.

“We don’t have a bartender at the moment so what we have to do is sell beer and wine, we could make more money if we sell cocktails,” he explained.

“I think they’re worried about workers that test positive now have to go quarantine and they’re not available to work. Many of these small businesses only have a couple people on the payroll so they’re much more impacted,” added Jeff Rea, the President & CEO South Bend Regional Chamber.

Despite challenges brought on by the crisis, Shaw told ABC57 he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep his dream alive and his doors open.

“I’ll just be a one man show and run carry out, so it’s always a way. It’s definitely always a way unless I get COVID.”

Shaw also said with cases ramping up in the last few weeks he’s seen more people choosing to carry-out once again, which of course impacts their business. 

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