SOUTH NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Local businesses are fighting to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report released by Yelp states almost 164,000 businesses on Yelp have closed around the country.
Perla Salas owns Perla Salas Beauty Salon and Perlita’s fashion in South Nashville. She recognizes she’s been lucky, especially since she’s located in one of the hot spots of the city.
"My clients and customers know that I was in a rough situation because it was two months we were closed down and I had to look for another way to keep going," said Salas.
According to Yelp, 60 percent of the small businesses that closed during the pandemic, closed for good. Salas says if it weren't for others being so generous, she could've easily found herself in the same boat.
"I want to thank my landlord because she's one of the ones that gave us a discount to help us out with the two months of not opening," said Salas.
Salas says she’s seen firsthand how COVID-19 has affected people professionally and personally. She lost her uncle and aunt to the virus.
Salas says like everyone else, she's doing her best to keep swimming. COVID-19 canceled the multiple events that her businesses depend on like proms and graduations. Salas says she brings in the most profit in the spring. Although it has been hard, she’s just grateful every day she's able to keep the lights on.
The report by Yelp also shows that bars and nightlife have endured an especially high closure rate, with 54 percent remaining closed. The retail business had 58 percent of closures are permanent.
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp has been doing its part in trying to keep businesses open. Last week it launched the "Love Thy Neighborhoods" campaign which urges everyone to support local businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It includes local deals and discounts.