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Pandemic still affecting reopened Greensboro businesses

Businesses are getting used to capacity limits and social distancing rules and while many are making due others are having to make tough choices.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The pandemic continues to try Greensboro businesses but some say they're starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Greensboro Aquatic Center became the center of some of that excitement Thursday after an announcement that Division I Championships are returning to Greensboro in March.

The GAC will host the NCAA Men's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships for the first time in 2021. The women's tournament has been held here previously. 

City business leaders said hosting both tournaments will be a big boost for shops, restaurants and hotels.

"There's no question that whenever the coliseum hosts anything in the aquatic center, we see a direct correlation to businesses, not only in downtown but the entire city," said Downtown Greensboro Incorporated President Zach Matheny.

Matheny said many businesses are adjusting to capacity limits and social distancing rules. Karmen Bulmer at Little Brother Brewing said business remains steady.

"We have people, we have to turn them away at the door because we're being pretty strict on our guidelines," Bulmer said, "We're gonna be able to make it, it'll be fine. Obviously, it's not the perfect world for us right now but we'll be alright with it."

Little Brother Brewing says it's expecting to announce an expansion later this month.

The pandemic is still causing closures for other Greensboro businesses.

Natty Greene's announced Thursday its Brewhouse on Gate City Boulevard is closed indefinitely.

The Elm Street brewery will remain open according to a social media post. Matheny said the Elm Street location is doing really well.

"They're focusing on where they're getting the most revenue and due to the restrictions, they're not allowed to get that many people at the brewpub," Matheny said.

Matheny said it's local retailers who need the most help right now.

"They're doing much better numbers. They still need a lot of support heading into this holiday season but we're very fortunate that we've been able to have our retailers survive," Matheny said.

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