Sean Flannery, co-owner of Irish pub Sheelen’s Crossing in Fanwood, is a self-proclaimed optimist. But he can’t deny that his business is struggling in the midst of COVID-19.
Flannery is going to receive about $15,000 from the state from the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, but that’s only about 25% of his restaurant’s monthly expenses, he said.
He spent about $9,000 just to reopen, which included expenses such as PPE, tents, outdoor lighting, heating and décor. Each week, the restaurant’s revenue is down about 30 to 50% compared to pre-COVID-19 business.
“We have to feed our families and we can’t do it,” said Flannery, who was struck with COVID for a month himself and spent a week in the hospital. “The only reason we are staying open is because of grants. People are losing their life savings and their businesses left and right and it’s sad.”