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Denton businesses, employees feel the effects of COVID-19 restrictions

Denton businesses, employees feel the effects of COVID-19 restrictions

Denton businesses, employees feel the effects of COVID-19 restrictions
April 02
10:17 2020

After Denton County issued a stay-at-home order on March 24 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, business owners have responded in various ways as it impacts them and their employees’ financial stability.

The COVID-19 restrictions meant the indefinite end of operations for Source Gaming Lounge.

“Business was slow in the weeks leading up to being ordered to close,” Source Gaming Lounge Owner Robert McAshan said. “I had been mainly keeping the business running through my own savings. [We are] looking at a forced closure for at least a month and likely a decrease in social entertainment for months to come, it doesn’t look feasible to keep open, unfortunately.”

The lounge was open for over three years and provided residents with computers, various consoles and virtual reality headsets.

“[I was] trying to provide a business that would fill a hole in the community and eventually support myself and others,” McAshan said. “[It] never got there, and it seems to be the pandemic that broke the lounge’s back.”

Other businesses, like Radical Hospitality’s LSA Burger Co, Barley & Board, Bongo Beaux’s and Earl’s Pizza, temporarily closed and let go of many of their employees.

Kristan Hughes and Tyler Hughes Bounds, who recently worked for Radical Hospitality, raised $3,656 on GoFundMe to help other former employees.

“There are now hundreds of previous employees that are in need now,” Hughes said on the GoFundMe. “Many have filed for unemployment and are actively looking for jobs, but it’s really not enough.”

Hughes said she and her husband will not take a cut of the donation as they have salary-based jobs. They will split the money evenly among former employees who have reached out to them.

Rubi Rodriguez, who worked at Sketchers Shoe Outlet, was originally placed on paid leave for two weeks — then the company told her employees were being placed on leave without pay until further notice.

“We all kind of expected this seeing that it’s a nonessential business,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not really panicking about it, but I feel bad for those that really need the money. My friend works at New Balance and got laid off entirely.”

Andy Rubarth, who works at Andaman Thai, said most of the restaurant’s employees are able to remain at their job since they are still doing take out orders.

While they still have a job, the employees are feeling the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’ve stopped being open in the morning and cut workers per shift to one and a delivery driver,” Rubarth said. “Orders are sporadic and while hourly has been doubled, I’m still taking much less home each week. The couple that runs things have been very kind and kept everyone on, which cannot be said for most service industry businesses.”

Featured Image: Local businesses in Denton County were required to cease in-person operations due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the county. Image by Ricardo Vazquez Garcia

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Brooke Colombo

Brooke Colombo

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