Downtown Greenville businesses feel continued impact of coronavirus

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The effects of coronavirus go beyond health, as many businesses have been struggling since the beginning of the pandemic. For some, it’s been impossible to stay open.

As you drive down Main Street in downtown Greenville, you may notice several empty store fronts where businesses have packed up and shut their doors.

Now, The Chocolate Moose will be the latest small business to close.

“We had a successful business until this happened and we’re kind of doing our best to end on a high note,” owner Emily Copp said.

She said there’s a lot that went into their decision to shut down.

“It’s been sad for about five months now because we have totally lost the customer base that we had,” Copp said.

And it’s not just her business that felt the effects of coronavirus on an economic scale. A city spokesperson says at least three boutiques closed their doors and moved to eCommerce only- something that’s not an option for a bakery or cafe.

“It wasn’t necessarily a hard decision when we did look at those numbers,” Copp said.

Business changed at the other end of main street for Bobby Daugherty’s business Old Europe.

“Our coffee sales dropped off quite a bit as people said ‘hey you know what, I don’t know what’s going on with this so I can make my own coffee,’” Daugherty said.

His business model is based on gathering at tables with friends for high end coffee and pastries.

“Obviously with COVID-19, that stuff came to a screeching halt,” Daugherty said.

But he’s been able to make it work, and says leadership on the city level has been a big part of that.

“Very pro-business but also mindful of the scientific facts about COVID to try and be very thoughtful and very practical about getting businesses back up and running,” Daugherty said.

“They certainly helped as much as they could. We’ve gotten free masks and PPE from them,” Copp said.

To date, the city has distributed grants to more than 250 small businesses for COVID-19 related expenses.

Daugherty says he’s confident Greenville will bounce back.

“It is not by mistake that Greenville makes every top ten list,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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