More than 200 NM restaurants forced to close due to fallout from COVID-19 | KOB 4

More than 200 NM restaurants forced to close due to fallout from COVID-19

Kai Porter
Updated: May 14, 2020 06:33 PM
Created: May 14, 2020 05:48 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Under Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s modified public health order, retail businesses can start to reopen across the state at 25% capacity. But restaurants are still banned from providing dine-in service.

Restaurants have been limited to carry out or delivery service for the last two months under the governor’s public health order.

Carol Wight, CEP of the New Mexico Restaurant Association, says 210 restaurants have permanently closed in New Mexico.

“Most of the restaurants that closed so far are those independent small family-owned restaurants," she said. “And the sadder thing about that is that that leaves 5,200 people without jobs in these very uncertain economic times.”

Lujan Grisham said the goal for restaurants to start limited dine-in service is early June.

Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, Wight says restaurant owners will continue to face extremely tough times.

“Every week about 3% of restaurants close and have to make that choice to permanently close because they don’t have the money to keep going on,” said Wight. “So if we don’t open, they still have bills. They’re still paying their rent. They’re still paying for their utilities whether we open or not. And they can’t do that without having some kind of an income.”

Wight says a survey of the association’s members indicates the number of restaurants that will permanency close will double over the next two to four weeks if no progress is made towards reopening.

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