As is the case with small businesses of many types, simply being able to reopen won’t necessarily equate with success, especially if there are government-mandated restrictions in place that limit capacity.
Bob Ansara, who has been operating the iconic Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas for four decades, has made the decision to close down, even though he says he figures he has “another 10 good years” in him.
Like many other restaurants in town, Ricardo’s has been operating on a take-out-only basis since Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak shut down the state. Ansara had to reduce his staff from 67 to four to make even that work.
“But that’s really a Band-Aid,” Ansara told Heidi Knapp Rinella of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I just don’t see a clear path forward. When you take into consideration the hurt of the last two months and what it’s going to take to regenerate the business, and when I look ahead to the next 18 months and see what those months will be like…”
Restaurants in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the country will not be able to operate anywhere close to full capacity when they reopen, at least for a while. Bowling centers, in many cases, will be in the same boat. And that could be devastating, Ansara said.
“In many cases, those restrictions will be worse than being closed,” he said. “While I think they’re all well-intentioned, I think they pretty much spell disaster for small businesses.”
The best hope for small businesses of all kinds will be for the COVID-19 virus to make a hasty retreat.