In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Resataurantuers aren’t the only Atlanta entrepreneurs voicing concerns over Gov. Brian Kemp’s Monday announcement to start reopening Georgia’s businesses as early as Friday, April 24.
The inclusion of bowling alleys, which are on a short-list of businesses able to start welcoming back customers at the end of the week, is leaving a lot of Atlantans puzzled including Justin Amick, president and CEO of Painted Hospitality, the owner and operator of The Painted Pin and The Painted Duck.
“Although I couldn’t be happier to have bowling solidified as one of life’s most essential needs, I’m surprised by the accelerated timeline to be able to reopen our doors to the public,” Amick said in a prepared statement to What Now Atlanta Tuesday.
“We can’t wait to get back to work, but the decision feels premature. Small businesses, including restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, are currently fighting for their lives due to the nationwide forced closures. On one hand, we need to be open to be able to survive, but we only have one opportunity to get it right, there are no second chances.”
Reopening Friday will be contingent on strict, state-issued safety guidelines, expected to be released at any moment.
As of this writing, the only published guidelines are for salons and barbershops which are also able to reopen at the end of the week.
“We are scared to death about the new norms, strict limitations, and guidelines that will make it impossible to be financially viable,” Amick said.
“A rushed reopening could be the nail in the coffin for many companies. We won’t risk the safety of our staff, families, and patrons, as their well being is of the utmost importance. We look forward to digesting all the information and making the best decision that aligns and serves our entire community.”
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]