COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on small businesses in South Florida.
A new report from Yelp, which provides reviews of businesses, says 2,991 businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties closed between March 1st and July 10th. Of them, YELP says 417 restaurants and 285 retail stores permanently closed.
Business owners tell CBS4's Peter D'Oench that they have had to use their creativity in order to help them survive amid these difficult times.
At Dharma Yoga Studio in Coconut Grove, owner Natalie Morales said she has been holding classes online instead of in person at her Commodore Plaza studio since the middle of March.
"We transferred all classes from the brick and mortar to online," she said. "This was a big change for our teachers and students. We can't be close to each other. A lot of classes are pretty packed and you can't get close doing this type of exercise. It's a big risk. People are breathing more heavily during this exercise. It's been hard. t's been a change in everyone's lives."
She admitted that business is off 50% but said with a smile, "We certainly hope to survive. The answer is yes, we will survive."
At David's Cafe, owner Adrian Gonzalez says the restaurant that has been with his family since 1977 has faced many challenges in the past four months and is now coping with the county's 2nd order to stop indoor dining.
Gonzalez said business is off a staggering 90% and while he used to have 17 employees, he now only has four employees. He hopes the federal government will deliver a 2nd stimulus program and he is not optimistic.
"It has been completely brutal," he said. "There is a lot of uncertainty about what the future will look like. I really don't have a clear picture what is going to happen and what things will look like."
"I think we are hanging on by a thread," he said. "How we have made it through the pandemic is beyond me. It has never been this slow. Business is down 90% right now. It has been brutal."
"How did you get along?" he was asked.
"I don't know," he said. "I have no clear path on the future. I feel really bad and I feel like it could get a lot worse."
Morales hopes to one day return to classes at her studio.
Gonzalez is looking forward to a return to indoor dining.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has said he wanted to see the rate of people testing positive for the Coronavirus drop consistently to below 10% before allowing a return to indoor dining.
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