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Greensboro businesses reopen after COVID-19 cases

Business owners express optimism for the New Year alongside apprehension about unpredictability due to the pandemic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Many businesses were unable to take advantage of the holiday season because of the pandemic. 

In Greensboro, some businesses shut down after some staff tested positive for COVID-19 in the last weeks of 2020.

Machete Kitchen and Cocktails in Greensboro had to close one hour before service on New Year's Eve after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

"We had big plans for New Year's Eve even though this year was going to be a little bit more sedate," said Tal Blevins, owner of Machete Restaurant and Bar.

RELATED: 'The business community craves predictability and stability' | Greensboro business leaders express renewed economic optimism in 2021

Oh Goodness Bakery on Elm St. also had to shut down after a case of COVID-19.

"Looking ahead we have to be very careful as we have been but that risk will always be there," said Jesse Wesselink of Oh Goodness. 

Wesselink said shutting down operations over a positive case and losing money is a constant concern for business owners.

"We knew it was a risk when we started up that we might have to close down until we get enough staff trained to be able to keep producing safely if one person has to sit out for a quarantine or something," said Wesselink.

Business owners also said financial assistance from the government is either slow to come or not at all.

"Personally, the government on all levels have completely failed businesses and have even failed individuals during this pandemic. We've seen it from the federal, state and the local, it's just a fact the assistance hasn't been there," Blevins said.

Blevins said the temporary shutdown of his restaurant won't stop him from celebrating the ushering in of the New Year with his customers.

"We're going to do a New Year's eve reprieve we think the coming of 2021 is worth celebrating all week long. So, this week we're going to try to do what our plans were for last week," Blevins said.

The consensus among many business owners is that the community has played a critical role in sustaining them. 

They have encouraged more folks to shop local, place more to-go orders, and also purchase gift certificates.