Mayors from across the Triad are urging federal support for local restaurants. The pandemic has hit them hard with more challenges ahead as we enter the winter months. 

Triad Food and Beverage Coalition Director Algenon Cash says more than half of North Carolina's small independently owned eating and drinking locations are facing permanent closure without immediate financial assistance.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines called on citizen support to help restaurants. "My mantra is: help them make it to May," he said.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said the mom and pop establishments that make her community great have been hit hardest by the pandemic. In Lexington, Mayor Newell Clark said this year's BBQ festival was canceled for the first time in 35 years due to COVID-19.

"That's a $9 million impact for our local economy when we have to cancel events like that," says Clark. "And it just ripples across a lot of our uptown restaurants. They look forward to those festivals and those are those events that kind of get them through."

All mayors called on the United States Senate to pass what's known as the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive Act of 2020 or the RESTAURANTS Act of 2020. It would provide grants to small businesses specifically targeting marginalized and underrepresented communities.   

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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