“We need it now”; Business Owner Says Remaining COVID Restrictions Helping Businesses Financially | News headlines
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Bars and restaurants in the county and town of St. Louis can open this weekend without curfews or capacity restrictions for the first time in over a year.
“The weather is nice so I’m having fun, it’s Mother’s Day weekend,” said Demiatrius Stuckey, a Belleville resident.
Stuckey was in the Central West End for a doctor’s appointment and decided to stay a while after hearing some live music.
“I’ve been vaccinated so I’m ready to travel and go out and stop wearing masks,” Stuckey said.
Stuckey was sitting just outside the designated area for the Central West End Streatery. As part of the Streatery, part of Euclid is blocked off and filled with tables and chairs so people can dine outside.
In St. Louis County, Cobalt Smoke & Sea owner Bernadette Faasen said the county lifted restrictions just in time for patio season. She also sits on the Restaurant Advisory Board, which works with the county on restrictions.
At present, indoor masks and tables spaced six feet apart are the only remaining restrictions in the county and city of St. Louis.
“For us right now, even though we’re ‘100% with the six foot rule’, it still qualifies us for some type of federal funding, especially with the employee retention credit,” he said. Faasen said.
The employee retention credit allows businesses to receive a federal government tax credit equal to 70 percent of employee wages. To be eligible, companies must be:
- Do less than 50% of what they did at the same time last year
- Under government restriction due to COVID
Since restaurants are only allowed to offer take-out at this time of last year and therefore most earn less money, the six foot rule is what qualifies many restaurants for this credit. .
“We need this now,” Faasen said. “It’s not like the restaurants in St. Louis County are coming in and cashing in all this money, we are just making up for lost funds from what we have personally had to invest. And take from our own personal families to survive.”
News 4 has contacted the county and city to ask when masks will no longer be needed indoors and tables will not need to be six feet apart. The city’s health department said it was following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID. We have not received a message from the county.
Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved