‘We’ve run out of money’: Bar and gym owners very stressed over another phase 2 expansion

The last time small business owner Zack Medford served a drink in his bar was in March, just before St. Patrick’s Day.

Some of the beer has expired now and will need to be thrown away. It will be at least another five weeks before the taps could flow again and the money could come in.

Governor Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that it was once again extending Phase 2.

Medford isn’t surprised, but says it will take him years to get out of the COVID-19[feminine] hole and he does not know how long he will be able to keep the companies.

“We’ve run out of money. We can’t pay rent anymore. There’s no money for that,” he said. “We got PPP loans but these only lasted eight weeks and the money is long gone. We have no options. We are just living on credit cards now to try to pay our personal bills, not to mention our bar bills.”

Gyms are also impacted and we are already starting to see some fitness centers close.


According to the latest data, there are over 1,000 bars in North Carolina and over 1,000 health clubs. The two sectors of activity are prohibited from reopening.

Two students try to help and set up a fund to raise thousands of dollars.

The pair is partnering with advocacy group Black Dollar NC to distribute the funds to struggling small businesses, especially those that are black and minority owned.

“We as a community need to rally behind these small businesses and help them as much as we can,” said organizer Yusuf Ali.

Medford argued that the governor should offer the same kind of financial support, given that he is the one who continues to press the Phase 3 pause button.

“If you want to force 15% of an industry to remain closed, while allowing 85% of its competitors to remain open, you have to find a way to help them survive. Some kind of backup plan. Some kind of subsidies . . Kind of real help for these businesses. Loans aren’t going to be enough, because we can never get that money back, let alone pay it back,” Medford said.

If you are a small business owner interested in applying for a fund administered by Black Dollar NC, Click here.

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