Venues Across New England Being Impacted by Coronavirus

At least a half dozen venues across the North Shore and southern New Hampshire say they're experiencing a financial impact from concerns over COVID-19

NBC Universal, Inc.

In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, sporting events, concerts and corporate events are being canceled across the nation.

So, what does that mean for the event venues in Massachusetts? The owner of Breakaway in Danvers says he has lost tens of thousands of dollars.

"It's unprecedented," owner Joe Crowley said Thursday during an interview at his function facility.

On most weekends, Crowley hosts hundreds of people at three separate event venues under one roof.

"We have all kinds of showers, and parties and fundraisers," he said.

But the fear of large crowds amid the coronavirus outbreak is causing a lot of cancellations.

"We've lost over a dozen events in four days, which is a lot," Crowley said.

That's tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. And while it hurts, Crowley said he completely understands.

"People's safety is first priority, financial, we can make that up," he said.

But, functions account for about 80% of Breakaway's bottom line. So, if things don't get better soon, Crowley can't help but think of the worst-case scenario.

"What if, what if, what if," he pondered.

The question is what if the state orders a temporary shutdown of venues like this?

"Going into our busy season of April, May and June, it could be devastating," Crowley said.

And the trickle-down effect would be especially painful for hourly employees who rely on tips.

"That would hurt big time," said Breakaway Function Manager Susan Dascoli. "They're not going to make a living if guests aren't coming in."

But for now, Crowley is staying optimistic and keeping his nightclub open and safe for guests.

"We've done things like switch to plastic away from glass and we hired a company to come in and disinfect," he said.

He's hoping these precautions will help put a stop to the Coronavirus before it cripples his business.

“We feel for the people, there's a panic right now, there is a lot of unknown," he said empathetically.

Crowley and Dascoli are hopeful they can reschedule some of those canceled events and recoup that money.

Breakaway is not the only function facility in this situation. At least a half a dozen other venues across the North Shore and southern New Hampshire told NBC10 Boston they're experiencing the same financial impact from concerns over COVID-19.

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