As winter storm hits Nashville, already struggling small businesses are forced to close

AM HILT WINTER STORM _ SMALL BIZ PKG.transfer_frame_2832.jpeg
Posted at 8:28 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 10:24:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Many small businesses, that have already been strained because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, had to close this week, as winter storms pounded Middle Tennessee.

"It's almost kind of shocking to see," Nicholas Gajewski said. Gajewski is the manager at Noble's Kitchen and Beer Hall in East Nashville. "We're not used to having to shovel, put out salt, to prepare for winter weather."

As the storm left a layer of ice across the Mid-State, Noble's closed their doors.

"We ended up closing early Monday and closed on Tuesday as well," Gajewski explained. But the snowstorm shutdowns were the latest bump in what has been a difficult year for the restaurant. Damage from the 2020 Tornado closed Nobles for five months, and pandemic restrictions on restaurants continue to strain small businesses.

"Our margins are super thin, given everything that's going on," he said. "If we can break even on a given week we're excited."

That makes this week's winter storm shutdowns even more difficult.

"It's a pretty big deal not to be open for a day or even a half a day with the restaurants right now," Gajewski said. "Closing for half a day is super stressful, not only for the business but also our staff, because a lot of our staff is living paycheck to paycheck this year because of everything that's going on."

So with more chances of snow in the forecast, Gajewski says he's hoping his doors can stay open.

"I'm just hoping that the roads can stay clear to the point where its safe enough for customers to walk or even drive to our restaurants."