Businesses Struggle to Stay Above Water During Coronavirus Pandemic

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With the coronavirus pandemic changing so much, businesses in the Boston area are struggling to survive.

At Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale Village, the restaurant is counting on takeout business to ride out the storm.

"Go from one restaurant to doing takeout," said owner Joe Garufi. "It's a different ballgame."

Business is down 40%, hours have been cut back for staff and some of the bills won't be paid on time.

"Electric bills and gas bills, we're kind of letting things slide," said Garufi.

Just like in Roslindale Village, it's incredibly quiet in Dedham Square. Most businesses are closed, including The Blue Bunny Bookstore and Mocha Java Cafe.

"We shut the store down," said Peter Reynolds, who owns the bookstore and the cafe. "Everybody is laid off."

Reynolds says he could open to serve takeout from the cafe side, but he thinks it's safer to close up shop completely.

"I did not want to tempt people to leave their homes," said Reynolds. "I think right now, it's important to stay in your home."

Both businessmen say they're looking into what the government can offer in terms of financial help.

"We're going to tap into that," said Garufi. "Any little bit helps from anywhere."

Neither is surprised the state's closure of non-essential businesses has been extended from next week until early May.

"This isn't something that's going to magically go away quickly," said Reynolds.

As it stands right now, small businesses across the state would be allowed to open up on May 4.

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