Dozens Of Small Businesses Across Our Area Closing For Good Because of COVID-19

CHARLOTTE, NC.– Starting a game bar was a pipe dream for Zachary Pulliam.

“I would do this if I won the lottery or like had a lump ball of money. At the time I was making decent money in corporate IT,” says Pulliam.

Eventually, he found a small business loan and Abari Game Bar in NoDa became a reality in March 2016.

“Up until coronavirus we were doing pretty well. This was a great year, I was about to be able to pay off all of my loans.”

Gyms and bars are not allowed to reopen in the modified Phase 2. Which now lasts until at least September 11th.

“After a while, you’re paying the same monthly cost with no revenue.”

Pulliam decided last week to close for good.

“I’ve probably cried about every day. I’m not too ashamed to admit it.”

Abari Game Bar isn’t the only one. WCCB combed through the North Carolina Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice. It shows 9 businesses in Mecklenburg County reporting permanent closures this year. But only Holston Medical Group listed COVID-19 as a reason.

Other businesses announced their closures on social media. Like Queen City Q, Carpe Diem Restaurant, Summit Room, Cycle South and Cork Buzz Charlotte.

“We are going to start seeing a lot more people in my position within the next month. That’s just the way it is. As soon as those monthly bills come around it’s just like a knife to the heart.”

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released a new report saying 22 states might require further stay-at-home orders or restrictions on nonessential businesses in the next four months. The report shows South Carolina might need one this month. While North Carolina might need another lockdown in October. Dr. Ali Mokdad with the institute says if 95% of people wear masks, we could have a different outcome.

“Staying away from each other, washing our hands, disinfecting commonly used objects. We can avoid another lock down, we can delay a lock down,” says Dr. Mokdad.