Seattle businesses brace for more restrictions, but some have found ways to adapt

Just hours into the first shutdown, Suzette Jarding was putting up “to-go” stickers on the windows of her normally bustling Capitol Hill restaurant.

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee’s new restrictions to slow down the spread of coronavirus in Washington are expected to impact restaurants and business, again.

There have been more than 200 Seattle-businesses that have already shut their doors due to the pandemic. While some, like Ristorante Machiavelli in Capitol Hill have had to adapt in unique ways.

“We transitioned [to take out only] right away, just said, we’re gonna try it. We don’t know if it’s gonna work. But we’ll try it and do it as long as we can,” said Suzette Jarding, owner of Ristorante Machiavelli.

Just hours into the first shutdown in the spring, her normally bustling restaurant was putting up “to-go” stickers on its windows, while its door remained locked, but not closed.

“I never wanted to close, I really felt like if we even closed for a day or two, that it was going to send a message that we weren’t going to come back,” she said.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee to hold Sunday press conference to announce restrictions to curb spread of COVID-19

Jarding said she did get a PPP loan during the first shutdown, but overall her sales were down 75% and she had to let go of eight of her 15 employees. She began selling merchandise and became a social media “pro” really quickly, she joked.

Thus far, there’s been no indication that more funding will come with another shutdown.

“I think we’ll be okay. I hope we’ll be okay,” she said.

But for hundreds of other businesses in Seattle – their story is over. The pandemic has forced them to shut their doors for good. 

Randy’s Restaurant – a staple in Seattle for nearly 40 years – is the latest business to shutdown because of the pandemic. In West Seattle, New Luck Toy, a Chinese restaurant and Karaoke bar, announced they will close for six months on Nov. 22.

“I feel like there has to be something for businesses, small businesses, if we want to have small businesses alive when this is all over,” Jarding said.

Despite the uncertainty, Jarding said she does support another shutdown to help curb the spread of the virus, but added she hopes Gov. Inslee’s announcement comes with support for businesses, too.

“I feel like it’s getting to a point again that if we don’t do something about it, we’re going to lose a lot of lives. And personally, I would rather struggle for this year and have everybody come back,” she said.

RELATED: Seattle’s flight-themed Randy’s Restaurant forced to close after nearly 40 years

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