Cyndi Stephens, owner of Geno’s Pizza and Grill, addressed the Scottsboro City Council Tuesday night to voice her concerns about small, locally owned restaurants and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s killed our business,” said Stephens. “We were carry-out only [on Tuesday], and we sold $128 worth of food.”
Stephens said they are being told if the city does not close businesses, there will be no help for them in the future. She said they are being told that insurance will not help them at all. She spoke with other businesses to talk about what to do next.
Stephens said that Geno’s has some backbone to stand on, but not long-term, and newer businesses probably do not have anything to fall back on.
“You’re losing money if you open, and you’re losing money if you close,” said Stephens.
Mayor Robin Shelton said he met with Sen. Steve Livingston, who reached out to the Small Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Commerce. Livingston told Shelton that they are working on a small business package, and their hope is that it will be announced by the end of the week when it would be available.
“I think I speak for everybody sitting up here, we want to invest in small business. That’s the backbone of our community,” said Shelton.
The city is working to establish an email chain for all the small businesses in the community. Events and Marketing Coordinator Katie Kirkland is working on this to send businesses links from the State about funding opportunities during this time.
Kirkland said she is trying to call as many businesses as she can to get a contact name, phone number, and email to send this information to, but there are a great deal of small businesses in Scottsboro, so if people can send that information to her by either calling or emailing her they will be able to help more people much faster.
She said anyone who calls is free to leave her a message with their contact information if she is not available. She is hoping to send out the first emails on Friday, but she will probably be updating everyone quite frequently as there is a great deal of information out there and everything is being updated on a daily basis.
Kirkland can be reached at email@example.com or at 256.912.0520