COVID-19 expenses result in a local restaurant struggling to stay afloat

COVID-19 expenses result in a local restaurant struggling to stay afloat

EASTON, Mass. — The price of operating a restaurant like Maguires in Easton is staggering.

Special air filters, plexiglass shields, PPE for employees, outdoor tent, sanitizer stations, and the list goes on.

“We’ve spent over $100,000 in improvements just to say viable,” said Neil Levine of Maguire’s Bar & Grill in Easton MA.

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All of it, while now operating at 25% capacity.

“My colleagues are dropping all over the state – all over the country – the hits this industry is taking has just been devasting,” said Levine.

Now an additional hit for Levine and other restaurant owners across the state.

The minimum wage increases to $13.50 an hour and $5.55 an hour for tipped workers.

The impact while boosting paychecks for workers might be a breaking point for some businesses.

“When we survey our membership, 1 in 4 small biz may not make it through this pandemic if the current economic conditions continue the way that they are and when you add in minimum wage, paid family medical leave, 60% increase in unemployment insurance taxes, that just makes it even more difficult for that business at the end of the day to say “will we be able to stay open,?” said Christopher Carlozzi - State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Massachusetts

Levine is hoping he and other business owners can just hold on through the unprecedented challenges.

“I feel for my brothers and sisters who are out there struggling to survive & keep food on the table and keep their doors open,” said Levine.

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