COVID concerns lead businesses to temporarily close once again

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The rise in COVID cases has led some local businesses to close their doors again, fearing a second wave in Arkansas. While many stores and restaurants reopened after the nation-wide shutdown in the spring, many are still cautious as to what the winter will hold, and are taking action to protect customers and staff.

East Sixth Brewing Co. is one of those businesses. They announced their temporary closure on their website and social media pages last Monday. Although other neighboring businesses are still up and running, East Sixth decided to close, saying they “couldn’t sustain taproom operations in this climate”, and cited concerns over rising COVID cases, colder weather, and talk of a second wave.

But they’re not the only ones who decided to close their doors. Other businesses decided to halt operations for now, such as CycleBar in West Little Rock, who put a stop to their fitness classes in October and don’t list any new classes until December 1st. In an Instagram post, they said the closure was a “precautionary measure” to keep staff and students safe and healthy.

Even Starbucks is making changes to their drive-thru locations and cafes, with two locations in North Little Rock cutting back hours and closing their doors on certain days of the week. We caught up with one customer trying her luck with the drive-thru, who says this is a recent change she’s noticed for the area. “I came today, and I went to the one on JFK,” said Erika Washington, “they’re completely closed, and this one said that they close early, they close at 2:00. It’s kind of sad, because they used to stay open until 8 or 9:00, so everything is closing lately.”

Many businesses in Little Rock have moved operations outside, allowing for more social distancing during COVID-19. But the virus is still taking a toll. One local movie theater we spoke to said they won’t be fully back to business until Hollywood starts putting out movies again, and in the meantime, they’re seeing a dip in customers.

These business changes and closures are all listed as “temporary” for right now, with no clear indication of when operations will be back to normal.

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