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Economics expert says some businesses will not survive coronavirus hit

Can we recover
According to Western Carolina capitalism professor Edward Lopez, some will not survive the economic downfall. He said those who have a chance of rebounding either do not rely on face-to-face interaction, have cash or credit available or are adapting to change. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Businesses across the United States are struggling to get by amid new government restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to Western Carolina capitalism professor Edward Lopez, some will not survive the economic downfall. He said those who have a chance of rebounding either do not rely on face-to-face interaction, have cash or credit available or are adapting to change.

Urban Orchard Cider Co. has turned the front of its store on Haywood Road into a to-go window.

“We have moved all of our retail business over here to a to-go capacity,” Josie Mielke, one of the owners of the family business, said.

She said recently the business has been bringing in about $100 a day in revenue.

The business has had to close its second location and layoff of several employees.

Despite tough times, Mielke said she is grateful they are allowed to be operational at all.

Wednesday’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, issued by Buncombe County officials, is another step to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Restaurants, with or without drive-in or drive-thru services, to include distilleries and micro breweries, may only provide takeout, delivery and drive-thru services,” Buncombe County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Fletcher Tove said.

With stricter regulations and less foot traffic, Lopez said closures will be inevitable, especially for businesses that rely on face-to-face interaction.

“If you don’t have your normal revenues coming in the door from your customers coming in the door, and you have bills piling up, you're not liquid, you don’t have cash or access to credit — business in not going to last very long,” Lopez said.

Miekle said Orchard Cider Co. is seeing 1/15 of of the revenue compared to a regular week in business.

In order to be fully operational again, she said they will need a hefty loan and continuous support from the community.

“Truly, that is the way that you will keep us in business,” Mielke said.

Lopez said not all business will take a financial hit from the epidemic.

He said most businesses who rely on people working in front of a computer screen and banks will continue to operate.

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