Since March, according to Market Watch, “2,800 businesses have been closed
permanently - 520,000 jobs are gone!” According to Yelp, 55% of small businesses closed on Yelp have shut down for good during the Coronavirus pandemic. Another 15,742 businesses listed on Yelp closed forever in just the past month.
Our concern in this editorial is not for the dictionary definition of a small business: up to 500 employees and $7 million in sales, but the personal “families” that we all have known the “Mom & Pop” companies we have loved for years.
Early in my teaching career I taught English, speech and Spanish at Colonial Christian School at South Dade Baptist Church… and for the final Spanish exam I brought our Spanish class to one of my favorite Spanish restaurants, Rio Crystal for their final exam: They had to read the menu and speak only Spanish to the service staff…a great experience in a time-honored restaurant which will close forever this month after, 47 years! Farther north in Coral Gables, we said goodbye with tears to Cindy Hudson (owner and chef) at Ortanique on the Mile, closed forever after 21 years!…and across the street where we enjoyed lunch and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at John Martin’s Irish Pub - closed forever after 30 years!
Twenty years ago I met and befriended Ramon Puig who introduced the “Guayabera” from Cuba in 1971. I have worn his handmade shirts every week since to school and to church. He was honored with a street named for him on 8th street…is store was closed forever earlier this month!
Contrary to what we are told by our county leaders, “Resilience” is not the
answer for small businesses that will not reopen!
PS. Thank you Mayor Gimenez for opening restaurants beginning on Aug. 31st.