Businesses going to extreme measures to stay open

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local businesses cleared a major hurdle when COVID restrictions ended, but the marathon to stay open is not over. They’re still having to close their doors. 

“Right now, within our industry staffing – having full staffs, seems to be an industry-wide issue,” said Owner of the Hollow Dora Philip.   

Philip closed her doors for a day recently. In a post on the restaurant’s Facebook, she wrote the reason for closing down was because she’s short staffed and wanted to avoid burnout for her workers.  

“We’re not trying to sugarcoat anything. We’re just trying to be honest,” Philip said.  

The nation-wide worker shortage has impacted businesses like The Hollow from the top down. From short-staffed warehouses all the way down to low supplies, several areas have impacted the financial bottom-line of small businesses.   

“What we’re going to see now over the next year, over the next two years, is the lingering effects, the real effects this pandemic had,” said Albany County Chairman Andrew Joyce.

Joyce is a member of the City of Albany COVID Recovery Taskforce. He said getting a piece of the about $81 million given to Albany from the American Rescue Plan for businesses isn’t simple.   

“There’s restrictions on what we can do with the federal money right now. So, it’s incumbent on us as local elected officials and as leaders to advocate for those individuals,” Joyce said.  

The task force’s last meeting is next week. Members are in the process of finalizing recommendations before they take their next step.

“Trying to keep something afloat when you’re making pennies, you’re going to cut your losses and say, ‘Look. Let’s take a step back. Let’s close for a week. Let’s close for a month,” said Lark Street BID Chair Patrick Noonan.

Noonan said while they’ve cleared one major hurdle in reopening, business owners are anticipating many more down the road.

“We’re really trying to look at our mental health space and say, “’Look. I have to be here for another five, ten, years. How am I going to make it through?” Noonan said.

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