NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As cases of the omicron variant surge across the country, many small businesses are finding themselves making tough decisions.
Anzie Blue, a popular coffee shop in the heart of Hillsboro Village that serves brunch all day, made the difficult decision to close through January 7.
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Marcie Allen Van Mol, who co-owns Anzie Blue with her husband, says that two members of the kitchen staff caught the virus while on vacation for the holidays, making it necessary for them to shut their doors into the new year.
“Unfortunately, they were the heart of our kitchen. And so it was impossible for us to open up without them.”
Van Mol says her staff of over 30 really wants to work, but having two integral members of the kitchen unable to work has put a wrench in their plans. However, Anzie Blue is creative.
“We actually opened up cheese and charcuterie board orders for pickup on December 30. So you can order on our website, anzieblue.com. And we’re just kind of doing anything that we can to prepare for that January 7 reopening date.”
The timing of this surge has many worried. The holiday season is when many businesses see much of their revenue.
“Small businesses and restaurants, a lot of them will make a bulk of 25 to 30% of their annual revenues during the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve,” said Van Mol.
Van Mol is hoping that local and state leadership steps up before many small businesses close for good.
“We’re just trying to do anything we can to kind of bring city and state officials to the table to start saying what can we do to help small businesses and restaurants because we’re going to all have to get creative.”
Often there are hurdles that local businesses have to jump through just to make changes. Making it easier to do things like add outdoor seating would make it easier for local restaurants to stay in business, according to Van Mol.
“It’s not about just getting a check. I want to be very clear about that. It’s about giving us creative means to do our jobs, and to continue to employ all these hardworking people that want to work.”
And of course, support from the community is vital.
“As a Nashville native into the entire Nashville community, shop small, shop local, otherwise, unfortunately, we’re all shopping at a lot of different places and eating at different places next year.”