LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Here at 7 News, we’ve been following the toll that the pandemic has taken on local businesses in our area.
We’re over two months in, and now we’re seeing some businesses shutting their doors for good.
With restaurants and bars closed down for months due to the pandemic, the lack of revenue proved to be enough to shut down Mountain Boomer Tavern.
“COVID-19 shut us down back on St. Patrick’s Day, and just two months was just too long after only being open a year and a half,” said Travis Fogelstrom, owner of Mountain Boomer Tavern.
Fogelstrom says he held out for as long as he could, but ultimately a decision had to be made.
“The first month I was kind of optimistic, but as it kept rolling along, the feds kind of drug their feet on getting all the SBA stuff taken care of,” said Fogelstrom. “At that point, I had kind of made up my mind.”
He’s not the only one who made the tough decision to close, Top Notch BBQ felt the sting of the pandemic too.
“Sales went to nothing, and we were paying a lot of rent,” said David King, Owner of Top Notch BBQ. “So we didn’t know how long the pandemic would last. So if something would have bounced back in two weeks or a month, we probably would’ve stayed there.”
King says while he enjoyed having their restaurant, it wasn’t a hard decision for him.
“Sometimes things just don’t workout,” said King. “We still had the capability of taking the trailer. It wasn’t like we were out of business. We sold all the equipment that was in the restaurant. We’re still doing some catering, and the things that we’re capable of making on the trailer.”
“It’s devastating to see some of these businesses that have operated and functioned normally, have to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brandi Sims, with the Lawton/Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
Sims wants business owners to reach out to them and utilize the chamber’s resources in their time of need.
“Anything that we can do, or at least connect you to agency leaders and partners that we work very closely with from local up to the national level,” said Sims. “Reach out to us. It is no problem that we can connect you with those places that can get you the help you need.”
Fogelstrom says he enjoyed the memories made with his customers, and hopes they continue to support other local businesses in the future.
Businesses looking for guidance and resources, can contact the Lawton/Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce at their office at 580-355-3541.